Tehran, Iran, September 16
By Mehdi Sepahvand –- Trend:
An Iranian official says the country’s airports organization has concluded no deals with foreign firms on developing its aviation infrastructure since January 2016 when Tehran and the world powers implemented the 2015 nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action/ JCPOA).
When asked what agreements have been made with foreign investors in this regard, Yadollah Aghaei Saem, the head of public relations office at Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company told Trend only those talks are being held, answering the question in the negative.
Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company (IAC) is responsible for insuring safe operation, management, maintenance and development of airports, air navigation systems and air traffic management in Iran.
This is while Saem believes that the country needs to lure investment to address a wide range of concerns such as building new airports and terminals as well as developing Iran’s air traffic control systems.
Iran’s aviation system was hit hard by international sanctions that were to end with the nuclear deal’s implementation. However, a set of primary sanctions by the US, still in place, that forbid transactions with Iran in the USD, as well as new sanctions by the US that are announced now and then even after the JCPOA, discourage foreign companies from approaching Iran.
Currently, Iran plans to develop the airports of Mehrabad, Imam Khomeini, Tabriz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Kerman and Shiraz mainly through foreign investment. Some $3 billion is needed to do so.
Thanks to the JCPOA, the number of tourists that visited the country last Iranian fiscal year (which ended March 21) increased by above 30 percent from a year earlier – what could be an indication that one of the world’s top travel destinations is already finding its lost flavor after the removal of sanctions.
With over 20 special sites that have been registered on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Iran has been frequently named as a must-visit travel destination.
The country aspires to host 20 million tourists annually by 2025, with expectations of expanding the tourist sector to $30 billion.
Iranian authorities have already unveiled sweeping plans including easing visa restrictions as well as constructing new hotels as part of efforts to attract more foreign tourists.