Baku, Azerbaijan, March 14
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Demands for transiting goods via Iran have increased, IRNA quoted Hossein Ashouri, an official at Iran's Railways Company, as saying on March 14.
Fortunately, lifting the international sanctions has given a boost to demands for transiting goods via the country in recent months he added.
"We have conducted negotiations with traders and officials from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Russia to persuade them to transit their goods via Iran's rail network," he noted.
Iran has the most secure rail network in the region and transiting goods via Iran is economically justified. Central Asian countries have no alternative, but to transit their goods to the Persian Gulf states via Iran, he said.
On March 5, an official at the Iranian Roads Maintenance Organization said that over 11 million tons of goods were transited via Iran during the first eleven months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21, 2013, a 5 percent rise year on year.
Mohammad Javad Atrchian told the Mehr News Agency that some 96 percent of the goods were transited by roads, showing a 10 percent rise compared to the same period in the last year.
The transited consignments mostly consisted of fuel, construction materials, cotton, home appliances, and vehicles, he noted.
Statistics show that over 11.6 million tons of goods were transited through Iran in the past Iranian calendar year.
More than 100 countries transited their goods via Iran. Iraq, China, the UAE, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan transited the highest amounts of goods.
Iran earns some 14 trillion rials (about $560 million) annually through transiting goods via ports.
In September 2013, Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi said that Iran plans to quadruple transit of goods to as much as 50 million tons per year.
Akhoundi added that about 12 million tons of goods were transited through the country in 2012.