By Amina Nazarli
Connecting Iran's railway to Azerbaijan will contribute to materializing the North-South corridor project, Iranian envoy to Azerbaijan told Trend.
After launching Rasht-Astara railroad and connecting Qazvin to Astara through the railway, the plan for the transit of goods from the Persian Gulf to Russia and the Black Sea as well as the Europe will be realized, Ambassador Mohsen Pak Ayeen said.
The length of the Rasht-Astara railway is 10 kilometers. Some 8 kilometers will pass through Azerbaijani territory and two kilometers through Iranian territory.
The period for transiting goods from India to Europe will be much shorter after the North-South corridor is completed, he added.
Explaining that the goods are currently transited from India to the Europe within 60 days, Mohsen Pak Ayeen said after completing the North-South corridor the transit period will be less than 14 days.
North-South corridor is a project for connecting Europe to India through several countries including Azerbaijan and Iran, lessening shipment time from 40 to 14 days end-to-end.
The project was established among Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia 10 years ago to accelerate the railway construction.
This transport corridor is very important for Azerbaijan both in economic terms and in terms of security and tourism, which expects to bring huge economic benefits to the country.
Earlier President Ilham Aliyev said that if new countries such as Pakistan, India, and the North European countries join this corridor, the volume of cargoes passing through Azerbaijan's territory will increase significantly.
The Ambassador added, the Astara-Rasht railroad has moved up the agenda and within the next couple of years the railway will connect Iran's northern corridor to its southern corridor.
A ground breaking ceremony for the construction of Astara-Rast railroad will take place on April 20 in the border of Iran Azerbaijan.
Iranian ICT Minister Mahmoud Vaezi and the Economy Minister of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev will attend the ceremony.