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Russia and Iran are finalizing a huge trade line connecting them to the Gulf and India


The project creates a huge network of sea, rail and land routes to allow Russian goods to reach India in a shorter time, without going through the western sea lanes and the Suez Canal.

The Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, supervised the signing, on Wednesday, of an agreement to accelerate the construction of a trade route between the north and the south to increase trade exchanges by circumventing the Suez Canal and international sanctions.

This bilateral agreement has been under discussion for several years and relates to the construction of a 164-kilometer railway in northeastern Iran between the cities of Astara on the border with Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea and Rasht.

The whole project covers about 7,200 km of sea and land roads.

The two countries, both subject to heavy sanctions from Western countries, particularly the United States, aim to finalize the North-South Corridor project, a network of sea, rail and land routes to allow Russian goods to reach the Indian Ocean without going through western sea lanes and the Suez Canal.

“The unique north-south transport corridor, of which the Rasht-Astara railway will be a part, will help significantly diversify international transport flows,” said Vladimir Putin, who participated via a video conference in the signing of the agreement between the two countries’ transport ministers in Tehran.

“Transportation of goods through the new corridor will have a significant competitive advantage. Therefore, the delivery of goods from St. Petersburg (Russia) to Bombay (India) will take about 10 days. For comparison, the journey through traditional trade routes takes 30 to 45 days,” he added.

The Iranian president, who attended the ceremony, stressed that the agreement is “an important strategic stage in cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation.” He said the “potential” between the two countries was “enormous”.

Tehran and Moscow have accelerated their rapprochement in the economic, energy and military fields since the start of the war in Ukraine in February 2022 and the imposition of sanctions by Western countries on Russia.

In Washington, a White House spokesman said Tuesday that Iran and Russia are “increasing their military cooperation in an unprecedented way.”

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, referred in particular to Moscow’s desire to obtain more advanced Iranian drones, after it received more than 400 drones since August, most of them of the Shahed type.

Tehran has repeatedly considered the accusations related to supplying weapons to Russia as “baseless”, stressing that it is not a party to this conflict.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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