Envoy: Iran, Russia to be connected through railway soon

Moscow, May 30, IRNA – Construction of a railway connecting Iran and Russia through land via Azerbaijan Republic will soon be completed, Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mahdi Sana’ie said here Friday.
Sana’ie announced the news in a meeting with Alexander Yakunin, the president of the Russian State Railways Company during an economic forum held in Gorno-Altaysk in southeast of Siberia, focusing on perspectives of Tehran-Moscow economic cooperation.

“The plan for connecting the two countries through railway is practically complete now and only a few kilometers of it remains to be constructed, which will not take a long period, as existence of railway services between Iran and Russia is an urgent necessity,” said the Iranian ambassador.

Sana’ie said that in addition to that railway there are four other joint projects between the two countries in railway transportation field, the most important one of which is turning from diesel to electrical of the two countries’ train engines and electrifying the two countries’ railway systems.

In the meeting the Iranian envoy and the top Russian railway official mainly focused on issues related to the expansion of Iran’s economic cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

“Iran has special interest for cooperation with the EAEU and supports its activities,” said Sana’ie, adding that Tehran enjoys good relations and interaction both with Russia and with the other EAEU member states.

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), also known as the EAE Community (EAEC or EurAsEC) originated from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia on 29 March 1996. The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community was signed on 10 October 2000, in Kazakhstanˈs capital Astana.

The Iranian ambassador in the meeting also focused on further expansion of Iran-Russia relations, as well as the need to pursue the idea of Dialogue among Civilization, which was originally initiated by the former Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami in the world.

“Russia is a friend country for Iran and the two countries’ cooperation is of great significance for Tehran,” stressed Sana’ie.

The Gorno-Altaysk International Economic Forum which aimed at providing the appropriate path for the expansion of Russia’s Siberia region with the other parts of the Russian Federation and the rest of the world was held there in the presence of Russian and foreign economic officials, experts, and diplomats.

Russian Railways and the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) concluded a contract for the electrification of the Tabriz-Azarshahr railway line on 29 April 2008. A ceremony was held to mark the beginning of construction on 9 February 2009.

The electrification of the line between Tabriz and Azarshahr is a social project aimed at providing students with transport from the city of Tabriz to the Pedagogical University.

The project involves electrifying a railway line of about 46 km and five railway stations. Electrifying the line will significantly reduce fuel consumption and increase efficiency and passenger comfort.

On 13 October 2012, Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railways, took part in the opening ceremony of the Tabriz-Azarshahr line, which was electrified jointly by Russian and Iranian specialists.

Construction project to build a new railway line between Rasht (Iran)-Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan)

In 2008, the railways of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on the construction of a railway line between Rasht-Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan).

The Russian Railways considers this railway line as a key element in the North – South International Transport Corridor (ITC).

The project aims to link up the overland sections of the North-South ITC, which will increase the cost-effectiveness of the multimodal trans-Caspian route by reducing the current need for repeated transshipments.

Following negotiations, the leaders of railways from Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding in November 2011. The three parties agreed to carry out the necessary feasibility studies, as well as financial and legal due diligence on the project, which the railways of Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan sub-contracted to an independent consulting company with the relevant expertise.

According to the results of pre-project development, RAI, Russian Railways and CJSC Azerbaijan Railways were to ensure compliance with the corporate procedures required to set up the joint venture which will then directly implement the project.




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