Iran looks to enhance ties with China, Caspian Sea states – First VP
Tehran, Iran, June 26
By A. Shirazi - Trend:
Es'haq Jahangiri, the Iranian first vice president, said the Islamic Republic is seeking to promote its "solidarity" with China and the Caspian Sea littoral states.
“We are after enhanced solidarity with the Caspian Sea states as well as China,” Jahangiri said, IRNA news agency reported.
He further described China’s connection to Iran via Kazakhstan as very important, noting that this could create key historical and cultural opportunities for the Islamic Republic like during the time when it was part of the Silk Road.
In March, Iran’s rail industry got a fresh boost from China’s investment of $845 million to build a train line connecting Tehran to the western cities of Hamadan and Sanandaj.
China’s flurry of investments in Iran is in line with the Asian giant’s “Belt and Road” initiative, a project aiming to build a modern-day “Silk Road” at a cost of $1 trillion.
Beijing’s biggest transportation project in Iran is worth $1.5 billion to electrify the rail line from Tehran to Mashhad for a length of 926 kilometers. The railway is part of the 3,200-kilometer New Silk Road which goes all the way to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Urumqi in China.
“The goods are expected to be carried to Iran’s west via China railway and then reach Europe,” the senior Iranian official said.
He added that the railway would be launched as a major hub to carry the goods shipped to the country through Kazakhstan and the Caspian Sea.
Jahangiri said that Iran seeking to improve ties with China, the Caspian Sea littoral states and all those which are part of the route.
Jahangiri has also traveled to Iran’s northern province of Gilan to inaugurate a new transport corridor that connects China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran.
The new railway line, which connects China to Kazakhstan and passes through Turkmenistan and Iran, is expected to enhance trade between those four countries. Previously, the transport of goods from China to Central Asia was mainly carried out by sea and air.