|Iran occupies a most prominent politico-economic position in the
Middle East. With a surface area of 1,648,000 square kilometers, and such an
strategic position, the country is truly unique, and enjoys many advantages.
After the collapse of the ex-USSR in 1991, Iran gained a more prominent
position in the region, acting as a "bridge" that links the Middle
Asian states in the north to the wealthy people south of the Persian Gulf who
are both producers and consumers. It also provides for Middle Asia, a sea
route, via the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Omen, to India, China and African
countries. Iran is cosily nestled in the middle of a market with 380 million
consumers. It has direct land or sea routes to: Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, the
Republic of Armenia, Independent Republic of Nakhichevan, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait,
UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Pakistan. It can provide transit routes linking
the northern states - the ex-Soviet Republics - to the other states by sea and
land, without the necessity of passage through a third country. It also joins
the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean by road and railway.