Austrian envoy says Tehran, Vienna develop strategic cooperation

Tehran, Oct 23, IRNA – The Austrian ambassador to Iran said in a ceremony held on the occasion of the Austrian National Day that Iran and Austria have materialized strategic cooperation.

"Having hosted the JCPOA talks my country has developed a particularly strong affinity with the nuclear Agreement. Consequently, Austria repeatedly reaffirmed that international Agreements should be upheld by all signatories and deplored the US withdrawal from the international Agreement and the re-imposition of unilateral sanctions," said Stefan Scholz.

Ambassador Scholtz said that the remaining JCPOA partners committed themselves to "11 concrete measures" aimed at maintaining and promoting wider economic and political cooperation with Iran, adding that Vienna's "small but strategic contribution" to the implementation of the 11 commitments is to build a network of partnerships realizing the expectations from the longstanding relations between Iran and Austria.

"Our partnerships range from Heavy Urban Search and Rescue, creating a center for renewable energy for the ECO region, partnering in sustainable eco-tourism development, building a national committee for the protection of cultural property in the event of crises, and the founding of all-Iranian mountain trekking associations linked to European networks and a few more."

He added, "Next week together with our Iranian partners we will draw up strategy for the post-2020 architecture for our bilateral cooperation."

"So far 10 thematic dialogues have been established with six ministries and executive entities involved on each side."

Regarding the history of his country and Austria National Day, Sholtz said, "Allow me to explain: 64 years ago, foreign occupation of Austria ended and as a consequence on October 26, 1955, the Austrian Parliament passed the constitutional law on permanent neutrality."

"For 17 years my country had been first annexed by a northern neighbor and then from 1945 until 1955 divided and occupied by Western forces and one Eastern power. Many of our cities left in ruins and our natural resources - like our oil stocks - were over-exploited by foreign interests necessitating new enhanced oil recovery methods."

"Shared historical experiences of living under foreign occupation emerged and once Austria and Iran had regained full sovereignty these experiences were identified as common strength factors for resuming the comprehensive engagement of previous times. Iran in the following years became our second biggest overseas market."

"Today we are looking back at amazing 700 years of documented contacts, 500 years of partnership and 160 years of full diplomatic relations. For 60 years Austria has maintained a cultural forum in Tehran, organizing last year 530 events and teaching language and Austrian national and local customs to 3.500 course participants."

The commemoration of Austria's National Day was held in the Austrian Embassy in Tehran on Tuesday with participation of Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali-Akbar Salehi and AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi.

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