May 24, 2019
Latest News

Idyllic Iranian island feels the heat as tensions rise with US

By Artemis Razmipour

Hormuz, Iran, May 16 (EFE).- The Iranian island of Hormuz, also known as the rainbow island for the wide range of colors it offers, is an idyllic getaway that has come into sharp focus amid an ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States.

Situated in the Persian Gulf within the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, the island boasts of a natural beauty which attracts a lot of tourists, mainly because of the astonishing diversity in colors – numbering as many as 72 – which can be spotted in its terrain, made up of layers of volcanic sediment and salt.

The island, spread over 42 square kilometers (around 10,400 acres), receives around 50,000 tourists annually, who visit its sublime coasts, valleys, caves and mountains.

But the current turn of events could seriously harm its economy.

Hossein Deirestani, the executive director of the Fardis travel agency, told EFE that the population of Hormuz, numbering around 7,000, has been worried and was continuously following the news appearing in media and social media about the tensions in the Persian gulf.

He said everybody wanted to know what the new US military vessels arriving in the gulf aimed to do, although no extraordinary movements were visible from the island.

In recent weeks, the US has announced that it was deploying amphibious assault vessel USS Arlington, Patriot missiles, aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and bomber aircraft in the Persian Gulf.

The deployment of these war machines forms part of the US strategy to pressurize Iran, after Washington imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran, including on its oil exports, and unilaterally withdrew last year from the historic nuclear agreement signed between the Islamic republic and six world powers in 2015.

Iranian authorities have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, one of the most strategically important maritime routes internationally, which lies between Oman and Iran and serves a passage to a large part of global oil trade.

Thus the island of Hormuz, situated in the middle of the strait, has become a strategic location, a fact recognized by the Portuguese as far back as the 17th century, when they built a fort on the island after being pushed out by Iranian troops in 1622.

Today, the Portuguese fort is one of the main tourist attractions on the island, along with the rainbow valley, the salt cave, the snow mountains and the turtle beach, where the colors of the soil range from white and yellow to red and purple.

Hormuz's soil is also used in making beauty products.

Ali Bazruj Hormozi, a resident of Hormuz, told EFE that the red earth of the island has antioxidant properties and is used in make-up products such as lipsticks and blush.

Hormozi added that even though a large part of the soil had been exported, the profits had made a very small impact or not benefited the island at all.

He complained that authorities had ignored the island, reflected in the poor state of the roads and the lack of facilities such as a clinic.

Hormuz largely remains an offbeat destination, without any hotels, although tourists can stay in the houses of some residents, and is connected to the coastal city of Bandar Abbas and the neighboring island of Qeshm by boat.

Out of the nearly 50,000 tourists that visit the island every year, only around 2,000 or 3,000 are foreigners, although, according to Deirestani, the figure had risen in recent months due to the rapid devaluation of the Iranian currency, which made it a very cheap destination for foreigners.

The current high temperatures turn summer into the off-season for tourists in the islands of the Persian Gulf, making it difficult to evaluate the impact of the Iran-US tensions on the tourism sector.

The outcome also depends on whether the recent escalation grows further or subsides to earlier levels.

Deirestani said if the tensions rose further, tourist arrivals, both of Iranians and foreigners, would almost certainly drop to zero.

ar-mv/ia/ssk

News history
Waiting in long lines to buy food is Cuba's current crisis and biggest joke

By Atahualpa Amerise

Mexico's plans for embattled energy sector spark criticism

Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Champions final to generate 123 million euros, 66 million will stay in Madrid

Madrid, May 24 (efe-epa).- The UEFA Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid will...

Experts stress using digital tools to make Colombian companies more dynamic

Cali, Colombia, May 23 (efe-epa).- Increasing human beings' use of digital tools is the vehicle whereby Colombia's business sector will develop, several...

Trump pledges another $16 bn for farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs

Washington, May 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday approved a second aid package for US farmers, this one for $16 billion, with the aim of...

China, Brazil agree to boost trade, cooperation

Beijing, May 23 (efe-epa).- The vice presidents of China and Brazil presided here Thursday over the fifth gathering of the Sino-Brazilian High-Level...

ECB officials warned Eurozone economy may not rebound as expected

By Tom Fairless

Xi pushes for innovation so that China wins the new technological Cold War

By Jesus Centeno

FAA's acting chief won't predict when Boeing 737 MAX will return to flight

By Andy Pasztor

Deutsche Bank CEO signals more cuts to investment bank

By Jenny Strasburg

Israel blockades stem exports from Gaza

By Laura Fernández Palomo

Carlos Ghosn attends first preliminary hearing in Tokyo ahead of trial

Tokyo, May 23 (efe-epa).- The former head of Nissan and Renault on Thursday attended the first preliminary hearing ahead of his trial, as his defense team...

Massive seaweed influx in Cancun's hotel zone

Cancun, Mexico, May 22 (efe-epa).- The hotel zone along the beaches in the Mexican resort city of Cancun on Wednesday experienced a massive influx of...

Journalism in digital age must rethink how to reach its audience

By Gina Baldivieso

Geneva, May 22 (efe-epa).- Venezuela's health minister said here Wednesday that economic sanctions imposed by Washington are to blame for shortages of...

Bucking US sanctions, American Airlines expands flights to Cuba

Havana, May 22 (efe-epa).- American Airlines, the leading international carrier serving Cuba, said Wednesday that it intends to offer additional flights to...

The UK's British Steel begins insolvency proceedings

London, May 22 (efe-epa).- British Steel Ltd., the United Kingdom's second-largest steelmaker, has started insolvency proceedings after the country's High...

Rare earths emerge as China's possible trump card in trade war against US

Jesus Centeno

India's antitrust watchdog surveys e-commerce firms including Amazon, Walmart

New Delhi, May 22 (efe-epa).- India's antitrust watchdog is assessing the domestic e-commerce sector, a step that could have consequences for Amazon.com...

Internal review reveals sexual assault cases in New Zealand parliament

Sydney, Australia, May 22 (efe-epa).- The New Zealand parliament on Wednesday admitted that at least three cases of serious sexual assault had taken place...

UN forecasts global economy to grow 2.7 pct. in 2019, 2.9 pct. in 2020

United Nations, May 21 (efe-epa).- The United Nations on Tuesday downgraded its forecast for world economic growth, announcing that it expects overall...

Plastic waste being made into ecologically friendly houses in western Mexico

By Mariana Gonzalez

Dr. AI comes to aid of China’s ailing healthcare

By Paula Escalada Medrano

Italian airline Alitalia cancels more than 280 flights due to strike

Rome, May 21 (efe-epa).- Italian airline Alitalia has canceled more than 280 flights on Tuesday amid a national 24-hour strike called by air sector unions.

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.