The headquarters of the International North-South Transport Corridor located in Iran may be moved to Azerbaijan, the Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia (TRACECA) international transport cooperation program national secretary on Azerbaijan Akif Mustafayev told Trend.
“Sanctions are a huge obstacle to the development of Iran’s railway infrastructure,” Mustafayev said. “Many companies that signed billion-dollar agreements in Iran to build the country’s rail networks are leaving the country. Iran, in turn, is an important participant of the International North-South Transport Corridor, and the corridor’s further development mainly depends on the railway infrastructure of Iran.”
The national secretary noted that Azerbaijan provided Iran with a $500 million loan for the construction of the railway section between Iran’s Astara and Rasht cities.
The next step in this direction includes modernization of the railway infrastructure from Rasht city to the Port of Bandar Abbas in Iran, which became more difficult to implement after a new wave of sanctions, he said.
“Despite the problems with sanctions, the railway from Rasht city to the Port of Bandar Abbas should be built for the full implementation of cargo transportation along the TRACECA and North-South corridors,” Mustafayev said. “In view of this situation, we would like to move the headquarters of the International North-South Transport Corridor to Baku, in order to increase its efficiency. Baku has good relations with both the US and Russia, as well as with other countries of the region.”
The national secretary stressed that 176 projects have been implemented within the framework of TRACECA in recent years, and that TRACECA headquarters in Baku has sufficient experience for implementing major projects, which is a favorable ground for handing over the management of the International North-South Transport Corridor to the TRACECA office.
Mustafayev added that the concentration of the centers of the International North-South Transport Corridor and TRACECA, the two transport corridors connected to each other, may positively affect the increase in the volume of cargo traffic in these directions.
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