Iran: transport sector has great investment capacity

Tehran, Iran, August 13

By Mehdi Sepahvand –- Trend:

The transportation sector in Iran has great capacity for investment, most of which should be provided from foreign resources, proposed transportation and urban development minister Abbas Akhondi said.

Speaking to lawmakers to defend his program in anticipation of a vote of confidence, Akhondi noted that over 40 percent of development projects in the country fall within the province of the Ministry of Transportation and Urban Development, the ministry’s website reported August 13.

“According to latest statistics, we have 1.7 quadrillion ($51.7 billion) worth of projects underway…. Keeping in mind the special transit position of Iran, extensive measures need to be adopted in air, sea, and land transportation sections.”

He added that during his tenure as minister of transportation in the first Rouhani administration (2013-2017), contracts for the purchase of 200 airplanes worth $39 billion were signed with foreign companies with no reliance on governmental budget.

Boeing said in April that it had agreed to sell $3 billion in airplanes to an Iranian airline. Also, two Iranian airlines made prospective deals with Airbus in June to buy 73 jetliners. Also, Iran’s national flag-carrier airline Iran Air in April signed a contract with the European plane manufacturer ATR to purchase 20 ATR 72-600s.

Elsewhere, Akhondi said that over the past three years some 5,800 kilometers of rural roads have also been constructed.

Akhoundi plans to increase the length of Iran’s freeways to 7,500 kilometers, in line with the target stipulated in the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22).

There are 2,500 kilometers of freeways across the country.

The government has invested 30 trillion rials ($800 million) in the past two Iranian years (March 2015-17) for the construction of freeways. Some 2,000 kilometers of freeways in the form of 10 projects are currently under construction.

Previously, he had said he plans to develop Iran’s rail infrastructure and increase the length of main lines to 13,000 kilometers. Iran has 3,500 kilometers of railroads under construction.

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