TEHRAN (Iran News) – Managing Director of the Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran Saeed Rasouli said on July 20 that Iran and India are determined to cooperate in the field of rail transport, especially the Chabahar-Zahedan railway.
Rasouli made the announcement in a meeting with Ambassador of India in Tehran Gadam Darmendra in Tehran, railnews.ir reported.
The Iranian official stressed that the development of cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi “guarantees comprehensive development of Iran-India relations.”
Rasouli, also the Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development, referred to the long history of Tehran-New Delhi relations and said talks of the two sides about the promotion of combined transport have been very much “satisfying”.
The Chabahar-Zahedan railway project connects Iran’s southeastern port city of Chabahar in Sistan-Baluchestan province to the eastern city of Zahedan near the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Head of Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization Mohammad Baqer Nobakht during a visit to Sistan-Baluchestan in May said that the project will be inaugurated by June 21, 2021, Financial Tribune reported.
Rasouli stated that presently necessary preparations have been made for activation of cooperation between the two countries in the international North-South, and East-West Corridor of the Caspian Sea, describing it “a good opportunity and advantage to reduce costs of goods transport” via those rail routes.
Referring to the significance given by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to the benefits of developing Iran’s rail transport, Rasouli said the development of the country’s rail transport is a “non-stop” process.
In September 2019, Ayatollah Khamenei permitted withdrawing a sum of $300 million from the National Development Fund for completing a railroad project which is to be part of a plan for the development of the Makran coast in southeastern Iran.
Rasouli further voiced Iran’s railway’s readiness to cooperate with its Indian counterpart in the field of freight transportation in the region and international corridors.
He also said that a five-country meeting is to be held on July 28 between Iran, India, Russia, Ukraine, and the Republic of Azerbaijan to explore ways to develop cooperation between the five countries in various fields of transportation.
Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy wrote in a Twitter message on Monday that during the meeting, the Iranian side stated that “vested interests were behind recent reports that Iran excluded India from Chabahar-Zahedan railway.”
The Indian ambassador told Rasouli in the meeting that the repeated visits to Tehran by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his four times meetings with President Hassan Rouhani indicated that leaders of the two countries are very much determined to develop comprehensive relations between the two capitals.
“India attaches great importance to the development of its relations with Iran and our goal is to maintain our relations, especially in the field of completing the transport infrastructure with Iran,” said the ambassador.
Noting that this year is the 70th anniversary of the signing of a memorandum of friendship between Iran and India, he added, New Delhi gives great importance to fulfilling of bilateral cooperation with Tehran in the field of infrastructural activities.
He further expressed satisfaction over good progress made during Iran-India cooperation in Chabahar port during the past 18 months.
He suggested that setting up representative offices of the two countries in the field of transportation would pave the way for further activity of Indian companies in Iran.
Ambassador Darmandra added, in order to develop rail cooperation between the two countries, a delegation from Iran should travel to India to technically review the status of wagon and locomotive production, and a delegation from India should come to Iran to be briefed on the latest status of producing rail transport fleet.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the Indian ambassador and his accompanying delegation toured various sections of a center for the development of the railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews