(AGI) Rome, Sept 16 - Mohammad Khoddadi, President and CEO ofIranian news agency, IRNA, was in Rome on Wednesday for thesigning of a memorandum of understanding with AGI: an historicagreement and signal of the new direction of the Rouhanigovernment and, above all, of the new era opening to thecountry with the agreement over the nuclear issue and the endof economic sanctions. Mr Khoddadi saw the agreement as abridge of information between Italy and Iran, to foster mutualunderstanding, transparency and, above all, business betweenthe two countries. "We have a historical relationship, ahistory of good relations. We always understand each other," hesaid explaining that the partnership with AGI had beenfacilitated by the ancient ties between Italy and Iran. Thispartnership will give an important space to economic news, towhich IRNA intends to pay "special attention in therevitalisation of its activities," he continued. "We cannotdeny the role of information in developing countries. Progressis linked to the fact of having more news, just as the weaknessof a nation is often caused by the scarcity of information," henoted. Information can be a driving force for business:"If two companies in different countries want to make a dealthey need the right information at the right time. In this way,a joint venture will be created quickly and it will besuccessful." "This exchange of information between Iran andItaly does not yet exist. In Italy news about Iran comes fromother sources and not directly from Iran, as happens for Iranwith Italy. There is no direct exchange between the twocountries." Hence the idea of the "bridge", the exchange ofnews targeted "at the common interest of the two countries", an"exchange between the two peoples to circulate true andpractical news that bears fruit," said Mr Khoddadi. And it wasin this context that the agreement was signed between IRNA andAGI, an agreement that provides a close synergy to developpublishing both in the context of primary information, and inthe activities of integrated and multimedia communications,professional training and in the organisation of local events.Thus there is room for information targeted at the economy,looking to the energy sector, a huge resource of the IslamicRepublic, which, explained Khoddadi, is "also a tool fordevelopment and transparency". (AGI) . . .