The Secretary of the Supreme Council of Free Zones in Iran, Hojjat Abdolmaleki

Iran Announces $700m Persian Gulf Bridge Project Funded By Oil Barter

Monday, 02/12/2024

Oil revenues will fund a $700m Persian Gulf Bridge project in the south of Iran connecting the Qeshm Free Zone to the mainland, claims Tehran.

The Secretary of the Supreme Council of Free Zones in Iran, Hojjat Abdolmaleki said: "We have also had negotiations with Chinese contractors, and it is planned for the project to be among the finance and credit line projects of Iran and China."

His comments come as Iran is offering substantial price reductions to its principal oil buyer, China, which also barters goods and services with Iran in exchange for oil amidst global sanctions.

"The President has ordered the allocation of resources from the general budget and from oil barter, and we are striving to put the project into operation within the next three years," he added.

"Approximately $700 million is needed for the entire project, including the completion of railways and highways, but its benefits for the country are very high."

Just last week, Iran announced a $20-billion high-speed train network which it said is to be funded through the National Development Fund and oil barter agreements amid the country's worst ever economic crisis.

In 2021, Tehran and Beijing signed a controversial 25-year co-operation deal which was first proposed by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during President Xi’s visit to Tehran in 2016.

Its details have never been disclosed and a leaked copy of the final text only outlines the general terms of the agreement. Tehran officials, beleaguered by an economic crisis they cannot solve, hoped it would bring billions in investment and make Iran part of China' Belt and Road Initiative, a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure scheme intended to stretch from East Asia to Europe.

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