Iran, Iraq, and Syria have signed a memorandum of understanding to expand their trade cooperation and boost the transit of goods through their borders.
Deputy Iranian Roads and Urban Development Minister Shahriyar Afandizadeh told the Fars News Agency on Saturday that the tripartite agreement on transportation and the transit of goods was signed in Tehran last week.
He added that senior Iranian, Iraqi, and Syrian trade officials agreed to facilitate the transport of goods by rail and road.
Afandizadeh noted that a rail line connects Bandar Imam Khomeini on the Persian Gulf in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan and the town of Shalamcheh on the border with Iraq.
He said plans have been drawn up for the establishment of a railway connection between Shalamcheh and the Iraqi port city of Basra. Once the project is completed, the railway link will stretch to the Syrian port city of Latakia and subsequently to North Africa, the Iranian official stated.
Afandizadeh added that the Iran-Iraq-Syria railroad connection will accelerate the transit of goods from the northern coast of the Persian Gulf to African and European countries and make the process more economical.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches paramount importance to the transit of goods and is seeking to expand its transit ties with neighboring states,” Iran’s deputy roads and urban development minister said.
He also noted that Iran is making efforts to boost the transit of goods from the port city of Chabahar in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan to former Soviet republics.
Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Oman, and Qatar also plan to sign an agreement to enhance transit cooperation in the near future, Afandizadeh said in conclusion.