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Austrians to Construct Persian Gulf Bridge to Connect Qeshm Island to the Main Island

9/13/07 By Soudabeh Sadigh

After 36 years delay, the national project for constructing Persian Gulf Bridge in order to create a connection between Qeshm Island and its main district will come into force by cooperation of Austrian experts.

Tehran, 12 September 2007 (CHN) - In a joint meeting which was held on 10th of September with attendance of Iranian and Austrian authorities to see about economic cooperation between the two countries, Australians announced their readiness to take the responsibility for constructing the Persian Gulf Bridge despite all boycotts organized by western countries against Iran due to recent political crisis.

The meeting was attended by a team of Austrian economic experts in private section, authorities of Iran-Austria Friendship Association, as well as Iranian economic authorities including the secretariat of Iran's High Council of Iran Free Trade-Industrial Zones, and managing director of Qeshm Free Zone Organization.

Evaluating the relationship between the two countries in the course of history, Dr. Werner Fasslabend, member of the National Assembly of Austria and head of Iran-Austria Friendship Association explained: "Austria and Iran used to have a good relationship and this relationship has even promoted during recent years in different fields including political, economic, cultural, artistic and diplomatic."

He further described Iran's strategic situation in a geopolitical sense unique in the world and explained about the vast cooperation of Iran and Austria in fields of Energy and announced the readiness of his country to expand these interactions by undertaking the project for constructing Persian Gulf Bridge. "In addition to Persian Gulf Bridge, Austria is also interested in cooperating with Iran in other economic fields such as oil industry," added Fasslabend.

Head of Iran-Austria Friendship Association strongly believes in Iran's positive potential in Middle East and Asia and its fascinating strategic situation in the region and analyzed it from different aspects. In his remarks about Iran addressing in 22nd International Workshop on Global Security which was held in Paris in June 2005, Fasslabend said: "In a geopolitical sense, Iran connects the Caspian Sea region and the Indian Ocean (specially the Gulf region). It separates the Turkish-speaking people in Minor Asia and those in the Caucasian region from the Turkish-speaking people in Central Asia. It also links the Arabian and the Indian worlds as well as the Middle East and Central Asia. Today, Iran is probably the only center of gravitation, beyond Turkey, between the Mediterranean and the Chinese and Indian border. It probably is also the only country from the Mediterranean to the Chinese and Indian border that is outside U.S. influence."

In this meeting, Mahmoud Salahi, Secretariat of Iran's High Council of Iran Free Trade-Industrial Zones, said that construction of Persian Gulf Bridge is one of the most important Iran's national projects and ascribed it as a new horizon in bilateral economic cooperation between Iran and Austria. He further announced the willingness of Iran's government and support of Iranian President for presence of Austrian investors in Iran in different fields such as gas and oil industry, civil development projects, etc.

"We will submit our request to Iran's Central Bank for providing the budget for starting the project of Persian Gulf Bridge," said the secretariat of Iran's High Council of Iran Free Trade-Industrial Zones.

Pointing out the high potential of Qeshm Island, located in Persian Gulf, with its 1500 square kilometers area and 350 kilometers sea shore, and enjoying a large amount of gas resources, Mohammad Asghari, managing director of Qeshm Free Zone Organization described the high potential of Qeshm Island very unique for investing in both economic and tourism fields.

Persian Gulf Bridge will connect the Qeshm Island to the main island through constructing a two-kilometer bridge between these two islands. According to Asghari, constructing a 70-kilometer railway is the other future projects of Qeshm Free Zone Organization which require attracting of investment.

Based on mutual agreements in this meeting, a memorandum of understanding will be ratified today between the two countries in this regard.

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