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Iran to help Armenia finish transit road that bypasses Azerbaijan

A top Iranian government official is in Armenia to declare Iran’s support for a key transit road project.

An Iranian deputy transportation minister has travelled to Armenia to declare Iran’s financial and technical support for a transit road project that will allow cargoes from Iran and other countries to bypass Azerbaijan on their way to Russia and Europe.

Kheirollah Khademi, who serves as CEO of Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company, arrived in Yerevan on Monday while heading a senior Iranian government and business delegation.

The delegation will visit construction sites for the Tatev project, a 400-kilometer transit road which links Iranian border crossing of Nordooz to the Armenian capital Yerevan.

Reports say only 15 kilometers of the road remains to be completed. The road will replace a current transit road between Iran and Russia through Armenia that extends for some 20 kilometers into the Azerbaijani territory.

Iran has been irritated by Azerbaijan’s recent decision to charge Iranian drivers some $130 for passing through the small section of the transit road. Azerbaijan authorities have also arrested two Iranian lorry drivers on alleged charges of illegal entry into the Azerbaijani territory.

A report by the official IRNA news agency said that Iran had declared its readiness to contribute to the Tatev project to help finish the road as soon as possible.

“Soon the remaining part of the Tatev road located in the Armenian territory will be completed through Iran’s contribution,” said the report, adding that the transit road will enable cargoes to travel safely and easily between China and Europe through Iran, Armenia and Russia.

The report said that the revived transit road will also facilitate Iran’s supply of fuel and crude products to Armenia.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian announced during a Monday meeting with Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Tehran that the two countries will soon revive their transit corridors.

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