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Russia to finance Rasht-Astra railway in Iran

Staff writer |
Iran plans to construct Rasht-Astara railway in joint venture with a Russian financier, a senior railway official announced.

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"Rasht-Astara railway will be constructed jointly by Iran and Russia through Russian financing on the basis of the agreement between Tehran and Moscow," Managing Director of Iranian Railroad Organization Mohsen Pour Seyed Aqayee said on Monday. He also added that Azerbaijan will also be in charge of constructing (Iran's) Astara-Astara (in Azerbaijan) section of the railway.

Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced Tehran's enthusiasm for attracting foreign investors to partner in the execution of the country's joint railway projects with the neighboring countries. President Rouhani said that foreign investors are welcome to invest in construction of Iran's railroad projects.

In May, Pour Seyed Aqayee underlined the country's transit potentials, and expressed the hope that expansion of transit cooperation among the regional states would bring about economic boom in the entire region.

The $400-million North-South transport corridor envisages creation of a single railway from Europe through Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran to India and South-East Asia. Most of the work will be done in Iran, which has no rail link to the border with Azerbaijan. Certain work worth $35-40 million is planned to be conducted in Azerbaijan.

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