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General

No obstacle to broader Iran-Austria ties: Envoy

Iran's Ambassador to Austria Abbas Bagherpour-Ardekani said on Saturday there is no obstacle to the expansion of bilateral relations, as the two countries share numerous potential opportunities in various fields.

In an interview with the Austrian magazine "Society" about bilateral relations, he mentioned that 162 years have passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and Austria and the signing of the first friendship agreement by them.

Some 15 years after signing of the agreement, Austrian embassy opened in Tehran with Iran's mission opening in Vienna later, he said.

Noting that relations between Iran and Austria date back to five centuries ago, as it is evident from official correspondence between the Safavid dynasty and the Habsburg dynasty, as well as the exchange of diplomatic missions in the 16th and 17th centuries, Baqerpour said, "Bilateral relations expanded in the nineteenth century, especially in the cultural, social and scientific fields.

"Iran was one of the first countries to recognize the establishment of the Republic of Austria in 1920. Iran is a country with rich natural resources and educated people," the diplomat said, noting that for years, Iran was Austria's second largest trading partner outside Europe, and Austria was considered one of Iran's five largest trading partners.

Commenting on Iran's economic capacities, he said that there are many opportunities for investment in Iran, such as in the spheres of energy, roads and railways, banking and insurance, tourism, research and technology, and development of southern ports, as well as the routes connecting southern waters to Central Asia.

"Iran has also made significant progress in new scientific fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, biomedicine, aerospace, etc. We are ready for extensive cooperation with Austria in these areas and we have created many channels and structures to achieve this," the ambassador said.

"Some 40,000 Iranians live in Austria, including more than 2,000 physicians and a large number of engineers, university professors, researchers and businessmen, and so on. We are really proud of them. Top Austrian officials have repeatedly acknowledged their positive role in Austrian society," he said.

Magazine "Society" is published once every six months in English and German, giving coverage to the most important international developments, especially in the political and economic spheres and diplomatic activities of Austria and the foreign embassies in it.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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