August 16th this year, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran. Over the past 40 years, the friendship between Chinese and Iranian people has a long history. The two countries have achieved development of relations in political, economic, cultural and other fields. The high-level contacts between the two sides have also maintained the momentum. Over the past 40 years, the two countries developed the friendly relations and cooperation, increased political mutual trust, and benefited the two peoples. On the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran, ambassador of Iran Mahdi Safari accepted the interview of Home and Abroad News Press.
Mahdi Safari is a senior Iranian diplomat. He officially took the 2010 Ambassador of Iran. Before that, he has served as Iran's ambassador to Russia, Austria and Iran's diplomatic envoy in Germany. He also served as Special Representative for the Caspian Sea and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and other important positions. He has visited to China many times accompany Iranian leaders, and participated in many important talks.
Journalist: Hello, Mr. Mahdi Safari. We know that you assumed office Iran's ambassador to China last July. This year happens to be the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries achieved significant development of cooperation in political, economic, cultural and other fields. How will you promote friendly relations between China and Iran to move forward during your tenure?
Ambassador: Iran is a country in the Middle East, and plays a very important role. Iran attaches great importance to relations with China. This year is the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iran which is a very good opportunity. We would like to take this opportunity to further expand cooperation with China in political, economic, cultural and other fields. 2500 years ago, two ancient civilizations of China and Iran conducted trade exchanges through the Silk Road. These two ancient civilizations made a great contribution to the world. I think there are many things to do. I plan to visit every province of China, and communicate with each governor, to further expand cooperation with China in political, economic, cultural and other fields.
Journalist: We learned from our last November interview in Iran that: Because of political stability, excellent investment environment, low tax rates, small labor cost, and high-quality workforce factors, Iran has an irresistible appeal to Chinese investors. Could you please talk about the current cooperation projects between China and Iran, and the support policies Iranian government provide to foreign investors?
Ambassador: In the field of communications, the communications industry annual trade volume between China and Iran reaches 1 to 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. In the field of transportation construction, our two countries are working together to build the railways. In water conservancy construction, we have 10 to 12 cooperation projects in preparation for power plant expansion. Iran's Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Energy from the past to the present have been actively carrying out cooperation projects with China. There are many cooperation projects in area of oil and gas. So far, cooperation between China and Iran in trade volume has reached 3 billion U.S. dollars. But in the next 5 years, we hope that through the efforts of both sides to reach 10 billion U.S. dollars. Our Government fully support and encourage investors to Iran, and issued many preferential policies. Embassy Commercial Office also has a special reception for investor's business consulting. Because they invest in Iran, the product can also be directly exported to neighboring countries.
Journalist: Iran is a long history and splendid culture of the country. The Iran Shanghai World Expo Pavilion has showed Iran's artistic achievements, and made a deep impression on Chinese audiences. What are the Iran tourist attractions?
Ambassador: Iran is an ancient civilization of 4000 to 5000 years, known as "Persian". Flourished 6th century BC Persian Empire, Persian culture created a splendid. In Iran, everywhere scatters around the remains of history. Iran has a very high artistic achievement. Iran has several UNESCO World Heritage places. On tourism cooperation, so far, cooperation in tourism between the two countries has not fully opened. We should make joint efforts in this area.
Journalist: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador.