TEHRAN, Iran, July 31
Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Iran (KTAI) transit corridor would be the shortest route to the Central Asian countries and would help reduce transportation costs, spokesman of Iran's Customs Administration (IRICA) Rouhollah Latifi told Trend.
"Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are mostly surrounded by land, so these countries have always wanted to connect to waters, and there were discussions of transit via Iran to connect to other countries," he said.
"Forming corridors would affect positions of these countries on the international arena, and also Central Asian countries have geopolitical importance," Latifi said.
"The corridors that pass through Central Asian countries includes China's Belt and Road Initiative and Russian corridor that connects to Europe," he said.
"Cargo transit through Iran to connect to the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf region is the most logical transit route but due to pressures of super powers, transportation via Iran has been overshadowed even though it would be the cheapest corridor and the shortest route," said the official.
Latifi pointed out Iran's trade with Turkmenistan.
"Turkmenistan does not approve to reopen borders to Iran, partly due to the coronavirus spread. The country has closed its borders to Iranian trucks that transit goods to Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Iran is following up on the issue to re-open the border, while the destination countries are looking for alternatives," he said.
Speaking of the KTAI corridor, Latifi said that the idea is to create a route that would pass through Iran to Afghanistan and then Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
"It is a shorter route if it does not pass through Turkmenistan and would have less costs for cargo owners," he said.