Can Iran go around Turkey to reach Europe?

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s geostrategic location, along with its historic role as a conduit for the exchange of goods — especially its position on the ancient Silk Road — has made the country one of the most active transportation hubs in the world.

Through both its northern land borders and the Caspian Sea, Iran has access to Central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia. To its south, it is connected to international waters through the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. Iran’s unique access to landlocked countries and its exceptional location make it an ideal transit hub — both in terms of cost and time efficiency.

This position has so far granted Iran membership in several international corridors with multiple transport routes passing through the country. These corridors include the North-South Transport Corridor, East-West Transport Corridor (the ancient Silk Road), South Asia Corridor and the Transport Corridor of Europe-Caucasus-Asia.

In recent years, and especially since Hassan Rouhani was elected president in 2013, the number of international flights that have crossed Iranian air space has tripled, while the volume of goods transiting through Iranian railways has doubled. Yet despite this increasing interconnectivity, Iranian officials say the country is still using only half of its total transit capacity, which is around 10 million tons per year.

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