By Mehdi Sepahvand
Iran has approved to 40 percent discount to railroad cargo transit fees from Nakhchivan to Persian Gulf ports, Hossein Ashoori, vice president of operation and international transportation of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways told Trend July 23.
“The Azerbaijani side has requested Iran to provide facilitates to help start transporting cargoes from Nakhchivan to southern Iranian ports and we approved to a 40% discount on fees,” he said.
Ashoori also said that the first experimental cargo transiting from India to Russia through Iran and Azerbaijan will be carried out in August.
“The cargo will be shipped from India to Bandar Abbas port by the Persian Gulf, then it will be transited via rail to the city of Qazvin, then carried by trucks to Azerbaijan’s city of Astara near the border with Iran. Finally the cargo will be delivered to Russia though the Azerbaina-Russia railroad,” he said.
The testing of the cargo will come as a pragmatic step toward the realization of the combined transportation goal of the North-South Corridor.
The North-South transportation corridor is meant to connect Northern Europe to South-East Asia. It will serve as a link connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.
Currently Iran should complete Rasht-Astara sector for completion of the corridor. By that time, which was estimated to take about 3-4 years, the participant countries would carry the cargoes by combined transportation way.
At the initial stage, the North-South corridor will transport 5 million tons of cargo with further expansion of transportation to over 10 million tons.