Iran to Connect Afghanistan to Int’l Markets
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development for Construction and Development of Railways, Ports and Airports Mr. Abbas Khatibi says the Khaf-Herat railway is to be inaugurated by mid-December, saying that Iran will connect Afghanistan to CIS countries, northern countries in Caucasus region, Europe and some countries like Iraq and its southern ports as well as connecting to the international markets.
Speaking to ILNA, Abbas Khatibi announced that the Khaf-Herat railway will open by mid-December, adding that the railway has been constructed in three parts each with length of 140 kilometers with the investment of Iranians. He noted two parts of this railway have been constructed with the length of 78 kilometers inside Iran borders and the third part has been constructed with the length of 62 kilometers inside Afghanistan.
Khatibi added that but the forth part of the railway from Rozanak Station with the length of 82 kilometers will extend towards Herat that Afghanistan is in charge of its construction. He stated that data and information shows that Afghanistan has provided its necessary sources for constructing the railway from Italy and a Kazakh company is in charge of its construction.
On the connection of this project with Chabahar Port, Khatibi said that the super rail project of Chabahar-Zahedan railway is under the construction, adding that another project is under construction which starts from Zahedan and continues to Birjand and Gonabad and it is connected to the Bafq-Mashhad railway which will complete the eastern corridor of the country that some parts of it are currently under construction.
Khatibi added that if we the railway is connected to Bafq-Mashhad route, we actually can connect to Khaf region through Torbat Heydarieh region and from there to connect to Herat.
He emphasized that in this condition, Iran eastern rail corridor is shaped and in the future and with construction of Khaf-Herat railway, Iran can connect Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman through its railway networks and this route will be effective and determininative for Afghanistan which has no access to the free waters.
Khatibi added that since the beginning of the project some 400b tomans have been spent on the project which is now valued at 2,500b tomans based on the current prices.
He reiterated that advantages of this route for Iran is that major part of transit of goods of Afghanistan will be directed towards Iran and Iran will connect Afghanistan to CIS countries, northern states of the Caucasian region, Europe and countries like Iraq, even Afghanistan’s southern ports as well as to the international markets.
He reiterated the project has progressed according to the schedule and there has been no delay as Afghans preferred this project to be inaugurated by mid-December.
Khaf-Herat is part of Iran-Afghanistan rail corridor. The project, started in the fiscal year of 2007-2008, connects Iran’s eastern city of Khaf to Afghanistan’s western city of Ghoryan.