Tehran, Iran, Feb. 25
By Kamyar Eghbalnejad – Trend:
An Iranian transportation official has described the North-South Transportation Corridor as significant for the country, suggesting that the country should halt some railway projects in order to finance the “strategic” corridor.
“In addition to its economic benefits, North-South corridor will improve Iran’s strategic role,” the former head of Iranian Railways, Mohsen Pourseyed-Aghaei, told Trend.
Mohsen Pourseyed-Aghaei who currently serves as the deputy for transport and traffic at Tehran municipality, added that carrying cargos to Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia through Iran would defiantly leave a positive impact on the strategic role of the Islamic Republic.
Saying that Iran has already introduced 32 rial projects, he added that the North-South corridor shines as the most significant project of the country’s railway system.
Speaking about the restrictions that the railways company is facing due to financial issues, he suggested that some projects should be halted in order to facilitate the construction of the North-South corridor.
“Considering the current budget, it is clear that we cannot operate all projects at the same time,” he added.
The International North-South Transport Corridor is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. It will serve as a link connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. At the initial stage, it is planned to transport 5 million tons of cargo per year through the corridor and over 10 million tons of cargo in future.
In order to complete the mega project of the North-South Corridor, three railroad segments connecting the northwestern city of Qazvin to the border city of Astara should be constructed inside Iran.
The first segment is Qazvin-Rasht, which, according to Iranian officials, is almost completed and expected to be inaugurated soon.
The second segment connecting the cities of Rasht and Astara is expected to be constructed within three years with Azerbaijan’s financial aid.
In the meantime the sides have already utilized the Astara-Astara segment, which connects the two border cites of the same name in Iran and Azerbaijan.