Iran, Kazakhstan launch major rail transit link
Iran and Kazakhstan have officially launched a rail transit link that will boost cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi used a video conference link on Sunday to order the transit of a consignment from Kazakhstan through the Iranian railway system to Turkey.
The cargo that contains 48 containers had arrived in the Iranian capital Tehran on Sunday. It started its journey from Aktau on June 15 and will unload in Turkey, according to reports in the Iranian media.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev attended the ceremony to launch the project, which is known as Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran (KTI) transit corridor.
Authorities said transit arrangements through the 6,300-kilometer corridor will become permanent after a series of pilot operations.
Raeisi and Tokayev also oversaw the signing of a document by railway chiefs of Iran and Kazakhstan that will commit them to cooperate on the transit of up to 5 million metric tons of cargo through the KTI per year.
Raeisi called the KTI a major trade route and said that the launch of the corridor will expedite the East-West transit of cargo between Asia and Europe.
“With an easing of coronavirus restrictions and more activity in the international haulage business this corridor has become significant, especially for the Asian and European countries,” said the Iranian president.
Tokayev said the launch of the KTI corridor has been a result of close cooperation between Iran and Kazakhstan in recent months.
He expressed hope the two countries would stick to their commitments about the project and allow it to evolve in future.