North-South railway to make Iran Asia's trade corridor again

TEHRAN, May 17 (MNA) – Iran's government spokesman says the pending completion of a vital north-south railway link will help Iran reclaim its position as Asia's trade passage.

Ali Bahadori Jahromi in a tweet on Tuesday said that the completion of a vital cross-country rail link is going to contribute considerably to national and international trade. "With the completion of the north-south railway's [construction], Iran will be able to reclaim its historical status as Asia's trade passage."

Upon completion, the railway would serve as a "shorter and cheaper" transit pathway for Asia and Europe's businesspeople and economic operators, the official stated. 

The development would turn Iran into the region's "trade crossroads" and bring along "stable and profuse" revenues for the Islamic Republic, he added.

Including the part that crosses Iran, the passage serves to link Europe to the Persian Gulf's and the Indian Ocean's littoral states as well as the Southeastern Asian countries.

Transporting goods through the pathway takes 21 days. The alternative maritime route that travels across Europe's western and then southern flank before heading into the Red Sea, however, takes 45 days to complete and features an additional 30 percent expense.

Jahromi's remarks came after Mohammad Jamshidi, the Iranian president's deputy chief of staff for political affairs, announced the pending conclusion of an agreement on the construction of the final stretch of the railway inside the Iranian territory.

The final stretch links the northern Iranian cities of Rasht and Astara, and the agreement on its construction would be inked during a ceremony featuring keynote speeches by President Ebrahim Raeisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, noted the official.

"Finally, after 23 years, the north-south rail passage would be completed, linking South Asia and northern Europe," Jamshidi said.

The sustainable and remarkable revenues that would stem from transporting goods through the pathway stand to compete with the Islamic Republic's oil revenues, he concluded.


News Code 200814


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