BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 4. Serious steps should be taken to strengthen and increase Iran's transit opportunities in the region, Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Ghasemi said, Trend reports citing the ministry.
Ghasemi said that Iran has enough potential in the field of transit. In this direction, $20 billion is planned to be invested in development of country’s railways and ports in the next 3-4 years.
“Currently, Iran has 14,000 kilometers of railway lines, but none of them is connected to major international corridors. Due to the fact that the construction of Rasht-Astara railway line has not been completed yet, the cargo shipping from India to Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port should be transported by trucks, and then transported to Finland and Europe via the Astara railway line,” he added.
The foundation of the ‘International North-South Transport Corridor’ was laid on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia, Iran, and India on September 12, 2000.
In total, 13 countries have ratified the agreement, including Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Russia, Türkiye, etc.
The purpose of creating a corridor is to reduce the delivery time of cargo from India to Russia, as well as to North and West Europe. Delivery time on the current route is more than 6 weeks, it is expected to be reduced to 3 weeks via North-South Transport Corridor.
The 175 km long Qazvin-Rasht railway was officially put into operation on March 6, 2019, to connect Azerbaijani railways with the Iranian railway network within the corridor. In addition, the 167 km long Rasht-Astara railway line must be built in Iran.
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