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Iran reports huge rail purchase from India

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran says it has purchased 250,000 tons of rails from India through a scheme that envisages an almost full payment for the purchase by the India government.

Iran said on Sunday that it had made a major purchase of rails from India, adding the payment for almost the entire of the purchase had been made by New Delhi.  

Mohsen Pour-Seyyed Aqaei, the managing director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR), has been quoted by the media as saying that the total weight of the rails that have been purchased from India stands at 250,000 tons. 

“Five percent of the funds required for the purchase will be provided by the IRIR,” said Pour-Seyyed Aqaei. “The remaining 95 percent of the funds will be provided by the Indian government.” 

The official further added that the rails will be used to develop the train network across Iran over the current Iranian calendar year which ends in March 2017. 

He also emphasized that the priority for the IRIR is to provide its required rails from domestic sources, but added that the leading supplier in the market – Esfahan Steel Company (also known as Zob Ahan) – is yet to announce when it can supply IRIR’s demands.

Last July, IRIR’s Deputy Director Saeid Mohammadzadeh was quoted by the media as saying that India plans to finance exporting about 150,000 tons of standard rail tracks to Iran.

Mohammadzadeh said that India has created a special mechanism to support exports of rail tracks to Iran through the “full finance” scheme, and that Iran will not pay anything in return. 

Officials in Tehran have already emphasized that Iran wants to spend up to $8 billion over the next six years to revamp and expand its railway network. 

To the same effect, they have emphasized that the country will need about 3 million tons of steel rails to connect all major cities, industrial centers and also ports for faster evacuation of goods.  

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