Iranian, Russian and Chinese companies are interested in participation in the construction of the Armenian section of the Armenia-Iran railway, Secretary of Armenian National Security Council Arthur Baghdasaryan told journalists on Friday, ARKA agency reported.
"Iran has already expressed its readiness to finance construction of a railway in its territory and through Armenia. Various Iranian, Russian and Chinese companies are interested in the project," Baghdasaryan said.
The Secretary of the Security Council stressed that the development of railway transport has strategic importance for Armenia and the construction of an Armenia-Iran route is very ambitious, but still an important state program.
Baghdasaryan reminded that currently, Iran is building modern railway junctions which will link it with India, China, and Central Asia. Subsequently, ties with Iran mean a large diversification of destinations for Armenia.
The North-South (Iran-Armenia) railway will give opportunity to Armenia to use an alternative way of transporting energy resources and other goods and getting access to the external world.
In November, 2011, then Minister of transportation and Communication Manuk Vardanyan said that the feasibility study of the project is ready, the group led by Deputy Transport Ministers of Armenia, Iran and Russia worked on it.
According to experts, around $1.7-2.8 billion is required for the implementation of the project. Currently, the construction of the railway is being discussed with Russia, Iran and China. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank expressed interest in this project. Currently, railway operations involve only Armenia and Georgia. A railway to Iran, which was declared a priority project, will give opportunity to open an alternative way for transporting energy resources and other goods.