Iran, Austria ink deals to boost cooperation

Sep 08, 2015 12:00 AM

Iran and Austria inked a number of cooperation agreements on Tuesday, making Austrian companies the first to have hammered concrete deals with the Islamic republic after its nuclear pact with world powers in July.

The Iranian Petroleum University of Technology (PUT) and Austrian Montan University signed a cooperation agreement with the objective to strengthen scientific and engineering ties, Iran's Petro Energy Information Network (SHANA) reported.

The agreement was signed at the conclusion of a forum between Iranian and Austrian corporate representatives in the field of oil and gas industries.

Deputy Director General of Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Karl Hartleb said on Tuesday that "Austrian firms are deeply interested in the presence in Iran and cooperation with Iranian companies in oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors."

Also, Iranian Deputy Petroleum Minister for International Affairs and Commerce Amir-Hossein Zamani-Niasaid said banking and legal institutions are ready to support the cooperation of Iranian and Austrian energy firms in the post-sanctions period.

On Tuesday, Iran and Austria also signed four MoUs to cooperate on environmental issues, agriculture, water management and forests development.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his visiting Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer were present at the signing ceremony.

Fischer, accompanied by Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mittelehner, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and a group of economic, cultural and academic delegation, arrived in Iran's capital Tehran on Monday for talks on the enhancement of mutual cooperation.

During his three-day visit, Fischer will also meet Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif and Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani to discuss the potentials of developing ties in diverse areas.

He is also scheduled to visit Iran's central touristic city of Isfahan.

The Austrian president is the first EU head of state to visit Iran since 2004

A number of Western countries' officials have recently visited Tehran to discuss boosting ties in the aftermath of lifting sanctions against the country.

Earlier in July world powers, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, reached a nuclear deal with Iran, aiming to curb Tehran's nuclear drive in exchange for a gradual lifting of sanctions imposed on its economy since 2006.

With the sanctions gone starting from 2016, foreign investment is due expected to return to Iran, a country rich with oil and gas resources.

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