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Iran, Azerbaijan start building bridge on border river

Photo published by the Iranian transportation ministry shows Iranian and Azerbaijani government authorities attend a virtual meeting to mark the start of construction works for a motorway bridge over the border river of Aras on September 21, 2022.

Iran and Azerbaijan have started construction works for a major motorway bridge over the border river of Aras amid plans to set up a new transit corridor connecting Azerbaijan to its exclave of Nakhchivan through the Iranian territory.

A Wednesday report by the IRIB News said that Iranian transportation minister Rostam Qassemi and Azerbaijan’s Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev attended a virtual meeting earlier in the day that marked the start of construction works for the bridge on Aras.

The report said that the motorway bridge will be 220 meters in length and 25 meters wide and will finish in 18 months.

The Aras River runs for hundreds of kilometers along the borders between Iran and both Armenia and Azerbaijan.  A report by the Iranian transportation ministry said that the new bridge will be constructed in the Agbend region in southwest Azerbaijan.

It said that the bridge is part of a project to establish a corridor inside Iran and along the Armenian border that will connect Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan.

Such a corridor became necessary after a war between neighbors Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2020 which resulted in the liberation of Azeri territories formerly occupied by pro-Armenia forces.

Azerbaijan initially sought to set up a corridor from the liberated regions to Nakhchivan through the Armenian territories, an idea opposed by Iran due to its impacts on border status quo in the region.

Iran has indicated in the past that it would not tolerate any change in the historic status quo of areas that were once part of Iran and still have deep ties to the Iranian culture.

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