Iran-Russia Rail Corridor Direct to Europe
September 12, 2017
The Russian and Iranian joint railway projects benefit virtually all of Europe and Asia, according to Abbas Nazari, head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways’ foreign affairs department.
Nazari has stated that the railway project, part of the International North-South Transport Corridor is: “Profitable not just for both countries, but also for Asian and European states. Russia is a prominent railway power; it has an extensive network of railways, which accounts for 85 percent of all freight transported by the country. An important element of our cooperation is the North-South transport corridor which, as you know, begins in Europe and runs to India via Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. We seek to ensure that Iranian railways become the primary transit element of the North-South Transport Corridor”. He added further that the length of the Iranian segment of the corridor is about 2,000 kilometers”.
Nazari pointed out that Russia and Iran need each other to move their freight between Europe and Asia, and that Tehran enjoys an unprecedented level of technological cooperation with Moscow. Iran is also in the process of agreeing a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.
He also said that Iran cooperates with Russia on several other important railway-related ventures, like the joint manufacturing of railroad carriages and the upcoming electrification of the 600-kilometer segment of the Garmsar–Inche Burun railway, as well as on other large-scale infrastructure projects.
“We’re working together with Russia on developing the biggest docking area in Iran – the Shahid Rajaee port. The ongoing negotiations cover all aspects of this undertaking: the port itself, the access railways, and the special economic zone. Once all these matters are settled, the developing process will begin in earnest.”
The International North–South Transport Corridor is a 7,200-kilometer interconnecting network of railways, roads, and shipping lanes designed to facilitate the flow of freight between India, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, as well as European and Central Asian states. Iran has already been preparing itself for Silk Road trade with the launch of Zoodel – an extensive multi-lingual business-to-business (B2B) portal for e-commerce featuring Iranian goods.