Minister Mahmoud Vaezi: International North-South Transport Corridor meets national interests of our countries

Tehran, October 11, AZERTAC

The international transport corridor North-South, passing through Azerbaijan and Iran, has a great advantage over other alternative international transport corridors, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Iran Mahmoud Vaezi told local press.

According to the minister, the commissioning of the railway line Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran) Astara (Azerbaijan) and the unification of transit lines between the two countries within the framework of the international transport corridor North-South will contribute to more effective implementation of cargo traffic from India to Europe.

The minister stated that the October 9 meeting in Astara (Azerbaijan) was held in a very warm atmosphere and was very productive. “I am glad that the relations between Iran and Azerbaijan are now at a very high level,” he said.

The next meeting of the State commission on cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran in the economic, commercial and humanitarian spheres will be reportedly held in December in Tehran.

“Via this corridor cargo from Iran will be transported through Azerbaijan to Russia and then Europe. In addition to income from transit cargo, Azerbaijan will also be able to transport its goods to the Persian Gulf,” the minister explained.

The International North–South Transport Corridor is the ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia. The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road. The objective of the corridor is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Moscow, Tehran, Baku, Bandar Abbas, Astrakhan, Bandar Anzali and etc. Dry runs of two routes were conducted in 2014, the first was Mumbai to Baku via Bandar Abbas and the second was Mumbai to Astrakhan via Bandar Abbas, Tehran and Bandar Anzali. The objective of the study was to identify and address key bottlenecks. The results showed transport costs were reduced by "$2,500 per 15 tons of cargo".

The NSTC route through Azerbaijan allows India-Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia-Kazakhstan transport connectivity. Iran started construction work to complete the missing link of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway (205 km) including the Rasht-Astara section (164 km). It involves construction of 369 km of bridges and railway line to link the southern sections to the northern ones.

Rabil Katanov

Special Correspondent

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