By John Lee.
Sputnik reports that one of the most ambitious initiatives that Tehran plans to launch is an artificial channel linking the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf.
The project, which according to the report is expected to be completed in the 2020s, is described as particularly interesting for Russia due to the deterioration in relations with Turkey, but European and post-Soviet states will also benefit from it.
In addition to providing a short-cut to the Indian Ocean, the project could provide irrigation to the center of the country.
The project was endorsed by Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and in 2012, former Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjoo estimated that the cost would be approximately $7 billion.
In February 2015, Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Khatam-al Anbiya, an engineering company owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was taking a close look at the project.