Railroad Connecting Iran, Azerbaijan Comes into Operation

A railroad connecting Iran’s northern city of Astara to its namesake in the Azerbaijan Republic was tested and put into operation temporarily.

The railroad, which is part of the Rasht-Astara railroad project, became operational concurrent with an official visit of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev to Iran on Sunday.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Aliyev arrived in Tehran on Sunday morning to hold talks with senior Iranian officials on topics of mutual interest.

At a meeting in Baku on July 3, 2016, officials from Iran, Russia, and Azerbaijan exchanged views on the cost of building the crucial rail link project, which envisages connecting Iran’s northern city of Rasht with Azerbaijan’s Astara.

The three sides also studied the possibility of Russia’s participation in financing the project.

The budget for completion of Rasht-Astara railroad project is estimated at $1.1 billion, part of which will be supplied by the $500 million loan from Azeri banks.

The entire project constitutes part of the north-south corridor.

The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a multipurpose route for the transit of goods between Iran, Russia, Europe, India and Central Asia via shipping lines, railroad and land routes.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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