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Iran eyes tripartite meeting with Azerbaijan and Russia to streamline cargo transit

Transport Materials 28 February 2024 16:29 (UTC +04:00)
Iran eyes tripartite meeting with Azerbaijan and Russia to streamline cargo transit
Elnur Baghishov
Elnur Baghishov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 28. Aiming to streamline transit processes, Iran is looking forward to a tripartite meeting with Azerbaijan and Russia, Iran's Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Kamal Hadianfar, said, Trend reports.

During a discussion with a Russian delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Transport Dmitry Zverev in Tehran on February 28, Hadianfar expressed optimism about the current level of Russian truck movement through Iran’s Astara. He suggested that easing certain restrictions could potentially double the number of Iranian trucks entering Azerbaijan.

Hadianfar emphasized ongoing efforts to enhance transit operations and announced Iran’s readiness to convene the Coordination Council of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to expedite its activation.

He also mentioned that the framework for the INSTC’s secretariat is set, and Iran is endeavoring to operationalize this body as an international entity.

Zverev, on his part, highlighted a fourfold increase in Russian cargo transit via Iran, with figures reaching 600,000 tons in 2023. He projected that within the INSTC framework, these numbers could soar to 4 million tons in 2024.

He underscored the significance of the Iran-Russia collaboration in global transport logistics and projected that the upcoming Rasht-Astara railway could boost cargo volumes to 10 million tons annually.

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 Northern and Western Europe. Delivery time on the current route is more than 6 weeks, it is expected to be reduced to 3 weeks via International North-South Transport Corridor.

The INSTC has three routes on Iran's territory. The eastern route is Turkmenistan and Central Asian countries, the middle route is Russia and other countries via the Caspian Sea, and the western route is Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia and Eastern European countries.

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