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Aras Resort Complex to be Built


Tehran, 5 January 2006 (CHN) -- The entertainment complex of Aras Free Zone will be built with the cooperation of a Chinese consortium.

Amir Hossein Shemshadi, head of the public relations office of Aras Free Zone announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Aras free zone and China. Shemshadi also added that after a comprehensive study on the zone and finding the right location to build this complex, the project will start; and the Chinese company has undertaken the responsibility of building this complex in only one year.

According to Shemshadi, since large parts of the free zone's lands are under protection, a land should be chosen for this project which not only would cause no harm to the nature but also would provide facilities for the tourists to enjoy the diverse wildlife of this region.

Aras Free Zone is located in the basin of Aras River in the province of East Azarbaijan at a distance of 137 kilometers from Tabriz and 761 kilometers from Tehran. Jolfa is its capital city.

The city of Jolfa, with less than 5000 population, has an active customhouse whose construction goes back to 100 years ago. Jolfa receives around 700,000 passengers each year and is the second major traffic border of Iran after Tehran's Mehrabad International airport. Jolfa receives a large number of inbound visitors, while it does not have enough facilities to serve them all.

In addition to natural tourism attraction sites, there are some historical sites in Aras trade-industrial free zone, such as Saint Espanos Church, Khoda Afarin historical bridges, and Kordasht complex.

During the Parthian era, the city of Jolfa was a residence of Iranian-Armenian minorities. Later, by the order of Shah Abbas, the Safavid king, about 3000 Armenian families of Jolfa were moved to a city with the same name in Isfahan to play a role in silk export from the Persian Gulf. Aryans are believed to have entered Iran from the same route.

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