sulayem in iran to boost motor sport links
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Emirates Automobile and Touring Club, has arrived in Iran for official talks aimed at reinforcing links between the two countries in motor sport, and tourism.
Sulayem and an EATC team are spending four days in Tehran observing and supporting a round of Iran’s national rally championship.
It is the first ever official visit by a UAE motor sport official to Iran, and Sulayem has made the trip with the personal support of Max Moseley, President of the FIA, motor sport’s world governing body.
The visit follows meetings Sulayem had in Dubai last month with Ahmad Ghalebani, President of the Motorcyle and Automobile Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and other MAFIRI officials.
The meetings, and the visit to Iran, were set up by the Iranian Ambassador to the UAE, Dr Hamid Asefi.
“I’m very grateful to Dr Asefi for his efforts, and was very happy to accept Mr Ghalebani’s invitation to visit Iran for the national championship rally this week. Max Moseley is very keen for us to support our neighbours, and wants us to do all we can to assist our friends in Iran, which has a long motor sport tradition.”
Talks between the EATC and MAFIRI could result in UAE and Iranian drivers and riders competing against each other in a wide range of national motor sport events, and ultimately lead to Iran hosting a round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship.
Like the EATC in the UAE, MAFIRI is the official national representative of both the FIA, the world motor sport governing body, and its motorcycling counterpart, the FIM.
One immediate result of the new working relationship between the two bodies is that a restriction on motoring tourists travelling to the Islamic Republic is to be lifted.
For the last two years, UAE travellers taking their vehicles on visits to Iran using official trips tickets or carnies (Carnet de Passage en Douane), issued by the EATC, have been limited to one month stays. Dr Asefi has given Sulayem an assurance that the restriction will be officially lifted in the next two months, but only for those holding official carnies.
These are issued exclusively in the UAE by the EATC on behalf of the FIA, which links 213 national motoring organisations from 125 countries.
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