Newspapers: Iran investor confidence damaged following abrupt closure of new Tehran airport
The Iranian army's abrupt closure of a new Tehran airport in a military operation because of the use of a foreign operator has dealt a blow to investor confidence in the Islamic Republic.
"The nation is left red-faced on the international scene," said the pro-reform Iran Daily, in reaction to Saturday's closure shortly after the first commercial flight touched down at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA).
According to press reports, military vehicles blocked off the runway, an approaching plane was diverted with a warning of anti-aircraft fire, and the army scrambled jets.
The army said that Iran's security was put at risk by the granting of a contract to manage IKIA to an Austro-Turkish company, TAV, rather than a local company.
Another English-language daily, Iran News said "Unfortunately in the case of IKIA we have been very successful in managing to portray our system as incompetent, mismanaged, and lacking in professionalism."
TAV, which won the contract through an international tender, has been left with its newly-hired staff jobless after the cancellation of the deal in which the firm claims it invested US$15 million.
The airport, located 30 kilometers south of Tehran, was due to start operations before the start of the current Iranian year, but a number of problems delayed the airport's operation. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)