Iran, Tajikistan sign MoU to complete Anzob tunnel

Tehran, July 8, IRNA — Iran and Tajikistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to complete the Anzob tunnel also known as Istiqlol (independence) project in the near future.

The MoU was signed by Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian and Tajik Ambassador to Tehran Nematollah Emamzadeh in Tehran on Tuesday, Tajikistan’s foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.

In April 2013, Iran and Tajikistan signed a MoU to complete the strategic tunnel in the Central Asian country.

The spokesperson for the lower house of Tajikistan’s parliament Muhammadato Sultanov said earlier this year that the $3bln agreement was signed by the two countries to complete the project.

He added that the Tajik minister of transport, Nizom Hakimov, has briefed the Tajik lawmakers about the project and presented them with the relevant documents.

The Anzob Tunnel is a five km long tunnel located 80 km Northwest of Tajikistan’s capital city of Dushanbe.

The tunnel connects the Tajik capital to the country’s second largest city, Khujand, travel to which, prior to the tunnel’s construction, required travelers to cross the border into Uzbekistan in order to travel between the two cities.

It is also a transit route between Dushanbe and Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent. Prior to construction of the tunnel, especially during winter, the threat of year-round avalanches led to periodic disruptions of commerce.