Rouhani: Qazvin-Rasht railway to operate before Iranian New Year

Tehran, Iran, Dec. 10


Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has talked about the priority of railway connections in transit routes, launching the Qazvin-Rasht railway before the Iranian New Year (March 21, 2019), as well as the importance of ratifying the FATF bills and a possible dual rate for fuel.

“The Chabahar railway to Zahedan and Sarakhs is a railway that would return investments by its revenues,” Trend reports as ILNA cited Rouhani, who addressed a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development on Dec. 10.

“Another railway is Qazvin-Rasht that connects to Astara, which I think will be inaugurated in February,” he said. “However, Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami indicated the project will launch in March. The important thing is that the work will be done before the New Year [March 21].”

“The Khorramshahr-Basra [Iraq] railway should be connected as soon as possible, because it is important for pilgrimage and transit. Iran should connect to Afghanistan’s railways, which is an important issue. Ports are important as well – the Chabahar Port will link Iran to Africa and Europe and can support a big part of transportation.”

Rouhani suggested the possibility of a dual fuel rate in accordance with the driving manners of Iranians, whereby bad drivers are compelled to pay more for fuel.

“Throughout the world, fuel has different rates every hour and every day, but in Iran it has a constant rate. We need to secure our roads through smart systems and remind the persons who drive carelessly. So, by establishing a dual fuel rate, roads will be safer,” he added referring to a system to recognize the difference between good and bad drivers and dedicate different fuel rates according to their driving habits.

Referring to some Iranian organizations that criticize the foreign investments in national projects, Rouhani said, “At the time of construction of the Imam Khomeini International Airport, an investor announced he would complete all the phases of the airport in two years. But someone said, ‘We won’t let that happen’.”

“At that time they [some organizations] said, ‘We will build the Imam Khomeini Airport ourselves. Why should a foreign investor do this project?’” he said, criticizing this approach and asking, “Why do we think it is wrong to let foreign investors come to our country?”

Rouhani also noted the necessity of cooperation with foreign banks and ratifying the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) bills.

“Without working with foreign banks, our costs will increase by 20 percent. Someone says the FATF bills should not be passed. I ask them to tell people what will happen if those bills are passed?” he said.

“Those who created propaganda will pay the price; they say the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action should not exist – so tell people what will happen if it does not exist and what will be the result of it,” Rouhani added.

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