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Tehran, Seoul Strengthen Water, Wastewater Coop.
Energy

Tehran, Seoul Strengthen Water, Wastewater Coop.

Iran and South Korea on Sunday signed three memoranda of understanding to expand cooperation in Iran's water and wastewater sectors.
The agreements were signed by Rahim Meydani, deputy for water and wastewater affairs at the Energy Ministry, and Min-ho Lee, director of Chemicals Safety Division at South Korea's Ministry of Environment in Tehran, IRNA reported.
Based on an agreement, Iran's state-run National Water and Wastewater Engineering Company will cooperate with the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) and industrial conglomerate Daelim to roll out a pilot water management program in the southern city of Bushehr.
Limited information was available on the MoUs, but another agreement reportedly sets the outline for several unknown wastewater projects in Iran in cooperation with South Korea.
Meydani noted that Sunday's MoUs bring the number of agreements signed between the Energy Ministry and South Korea to seven, "but none has turned into a deal and we have yet to agree on a price in the operational phase", Meydani said.
"South Koreans have valuable experience and technology in the environment sector as well as water and wastewater projects. The MoUs are aimed at transferring knowhow, easing investment and holding training programs in Iran."
According to reports, three MoUs, worth $3.4 billion, were signed during the official visit of South Korea's President Park Geun-hye to Tehran in May. They include building two hydroelectric dams, namely Bakhtiari in the western Lorestan Province and Karoun 2 across Karoun River that stretches along part of Iran's western borders and flows into Iraq.
Lee was also quoted as saying by IRNA that South Korean companies are keen to help develop Iran's water and wastewater systems in cooperation with Iranian firms.
He is part of a high-ranking Korean delegation that arrived in Tehran last week to follow through several environmental MoUs.
Seoul has shown strong determination in rekindling business ties with Tehran.
In what was the first-ever visit of a South Korean leader to Iran after more than five decades of diplomatic relations, Park said her government would provide $25 billion in finance for Iran's infrastructure projects.

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Meydani stressed that foreign companies will face no limitation in carrying out projects with a high return of investment.
The Iranian government is grappling with limited financial resources to fund hundreds of belated infrastructural projects. It hopes to attract billions of dollars in foreign finance to make up for years of limited investment and trade with the outside world.
The official also expounded on hurdles that have deterred foreign investment in Iran, some of which predate the sanctions.
"The projects designated to receive government finance usually face financial constrains and long operational delay, and also need to get the green light from the Economic Council," he said.
The council is a top government decision- and policymaking body that oversees major economic and financial activities in the country.
Iran is slowly rebuilding its economy after international sanctions targeting its nuclear program were removed more than six months ago.
The country reached a landmark agreement in July 2015 with six world powers to place time-bound curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for scaling back most financial and trade restrictions. The deal came into force on January 16, allowing Iran to openly resume trade talks with international companies.

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