Iran keen to build Ashgabat-Turkmenabat freeway

Business Materials 20 September 2016 16:18 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, Sept. 20

By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:

Iran’s Minister of Transport Abbas Akhondi during a trip to Turkmenistan discussed Tehran’s will to construct a freeway connecting Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat to Turkmenabat.

Stretching for 600 kilometers, the freeway will be built by an Iranian contractor if agreements are finalized, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Transport Ali Nurzad said, IRNA news agency reported Sept. 20.

During Akhondi’s trip, the progress in construction of the Sarakhs border bridge and the Sarakhs-Tajan road were discussed, Nurzad added.

“A 35-percent progress has been made on the Sarakhs Bridge. Financial documents have been presented to the Turkmen side to pay them. If the payment is done, the project will be over by March,” the Iranian official said.

Such cooperation is pursued despite the fact that a war of tariffs between the two countries was ignited by Turkmenistan on Aug. 8 when it assigned $160 entrance duty for less-than-20-ton trucks and $260 entrance duty on more-than-20-ton trucks from Iran, added by $1 per kilometer mileage extra tariff. The move came without any advance notice.

Shortly afterward, Iran retaliated, saying transit trucks from Turkmenistan would have to pay more tariffs while crossing Iranian borders from Aug. 13.

The tariffs recently implemented by Iran consist of $270 entrance fee and $1 per kilometer drive in the Iranian territory.

Akhondi even encouraged the private sector to file a suit against Turkmenistan if they found Turkmenistan’s new tariff regime to expose them to financial loss.