Iran, India to finalize railroad project deal

Tasnim – During a planned visit to New Delhi, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development and his Indian counterpart are expected to make the final decision about details of a deal on financing a railroad linking the Iranian southeastern cities of Zahedan and Chabahar, an official said.

In a meeting with India’s ambassador to Tehran, Iranian Deputy Road Minister Kheirollah Khademi highlighted the significance of financing for the major railroad project southeast of Iran.

In his trip to India, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi would hold talks on Tehran-New Delhi cooperation in the transportation industry and details of an agreement on Indian financing for the completion of Zahedan-Chabahar railroad would be finalized, Khademi added.

For his part, the envoy voiced New Delhi’s willingness to cooperate with Tehran in carrying out the railroad project, which would facilitate exports via Iran’s strategic port city of Chabahar.

In August 2017, India’s Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari visited Iran for talks on various issues, including the development of Chabahar.

Chabahar is the closest and best access point of Iran to the Indian Ocean and Iran has devised serious plans to turn it into a transit hub for immediate access to markets in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and Central Asia.

Based on a preliminary agreement signed between the two countries last in 2015, India was supposed invest $85 million over the construction of two berths at Chabahar port. It was halted, however, after India postponed the payment of its investment share