Iran’s Defense Ministry seeking foothold in railways
Tehran, Iran, October 16
By Mehdi Sepahvand –Trend:
Iran’s Ministry of Defense has said it is willing to enter the country’s rail service and contribute to the development of the sector.
“We are ready to provide for the entire range of needs in the rail industry. We are ready to develop the country’s railways with best quality and according to the highest global time standards,” Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said, Mehr news agency reported October 16.
“The ministry has the capacity to produce 1,000 wagons a year. We would also manufacture equipment needed in controlling, switching, and signaling sections.”
“We are now prepared to carry out railways development program through the procedure envisioned by the Planning and Budget Organization,” he stressed.
Iran’s railway system has remained underdeveloped partly due to international sanctions.
This year the government announced it had signed a deal with a Russian company for some 500 wagons. The deal, however, was later annulled by inspection bodies saying import of products increased Iran’s dependence oversees.
There are four wagon making factories in Iran which so far were threatened by import of wagons from abroad as well as a dormant rail transport system due to sanctions.
An Iranian company is in talks with the German Siemens for cooperation on building wagons, Deputy Minister of Industry Mojtaba Khosrowtaj said October 1.
A May 16 report said the major Iranian wagon maker Pars Wagon was operating at 25 percent of its full capacity because of scanty liquidity with railway companies and too few orders from customers.
Government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht ib August 30 said the government had Okayed $2 billion finance to go to the four firms for wagon making.
Iran’s armed forces, the IRGC in particular, have been developing its presence in construction and industrial sectors over the past decades, so much so that many of the country’s megaprojects are now carried out by IRGC subsidiaries.