Iran assigns budget to build bridge for Iran-Iraq railway
Tehran, Iran, Feb. 4
Iran has allocated a budget to construct a bridge as part of Shalamcheh-Basra railway to cross over the Arvand River (Shatt al-Arab) to Iraq, Head of Iran-Iraq Chamber Hamid Hosseini told Trend.
Referring to the statistics of the past 10 months of the current Iranian year (started on March21,2018) he said that Iran had some $7.5 billion worth of exports to Iraq, and this indicates a 50-percent rise of exports, compared to the same period last year (March 21, 2017).
He also noted the construction of the Iran-Iraq railway (Shalamcheh-Basra).
"In terms of rail route, Iran would be linked to Basra and this indicates that Iraq would have remarkable progress in passenger and cargo transportation," said Hosseini.
"Fortunately, Iran's Plan and Budget Organization has allocated the budget to launch the installation of the railway and connection of a bridge across the Arvand River (Shatt al-Arab), as part of the next Iranian year budget plan (March21,2019)," said the official.
Hosseini went on to add that there has been discussion over financing the plan, but lack of readiness from Iraq to guarantee the project's operation and pay part of its share, has delayed the plans.
"Fortunately, the decision to assign funds to this plan has been made, and there is hope that the Iran-Iraq railway plan will be put on agenda," he said.
Speaking about who will operate the Iran-Iraq railway, Hosseini said that naturally, the Ministry of Road and Urban Development will operate it, and also choose the contractors for the project.
Hosseini also said that the Iraqis should pay the costs of their share, and Iran could keep operating the railway until Iraq pays off all the costs.