Iran and Russia have signed a comprehensive agreement to expand transportation cooperation between the two countries. The agreement was signed by Iranian Transport Minister Rostam Qasemi and his Russian counterpart Vitaly Savelyev at the end of Qasemi’s visit to Moscow.
According to Tehran Times, Qasemi discussed various topics including the finalization of previously reached agreements in the field of rail, sea, road, and air transportation with the Russian official. Speaking at the meeting, Savelyev referred to the expanding relations between the two countries and expressed hope that with the signing of this agreement, bilateral cooperation in the field of transport will be further expanded.
Russia's transport minister said the north-south railway corridor could be the basis for expanding cooperation between Russia, Iran, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, and that a deal would be needed to implement the massive project.
He also expressed hope that the two sides would collaborate in completing the Rasht-Astara railway project as soon as possible. Pointing out that his country views the Islamic Republic of Iran as a trade and transit hub in the region, Savelyev said: "With the completion of Iran’s railway lines, especially the Rasht-Astara section, northern Europe will be connected to the Indian subcontinent, and this will have huge transit revenues for the countries along the route, including Iran and Russia.”
Qasemi for his part expressed the Iranian government’s willingness for the expansion of ties with neighboring countries. “If Iran and Russia work closely together, U.S. and Western sanctions against the two countries will have no effect,” the Iranian minister said. According to the official developing transportation relations between the two countries is a prerequisite for the expansion of trade ties, saying that Iran welcomes any kind of agreement between the two countries in the field of transportation. “Trade exchanges between the two countries and Russian exports to other countries through Iran can be the topic of new agreements and such agreements can be implemented in the shortest possible time,” he said.