President of Iran Hassan Rouhani said that his country and Azerbaijan will sign an investment deal for financing a railway segment inside the Islamic Republic during his late March visit to Baku.
“During my visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan, the deal on joint investment in Rasht-Astara railway will be signed,” Rouhani told reporters in Tehran.
The railway segment is a part of the International North-South Transport Corridor which is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. It will serve as a link connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran, and Russia. At the initial stage, it is planned to transport 5 million tons of cargo per year through the corridor and over 10 million tons of cargo in future.
In order to complete the mega project of the North-South Corridor, three railroad segments connecting the northwestern city of Qazvin to the border city of Astara should be constructed inside Iran.
According to Iranian officials, the first segment of Qazvin-Rasht will be completed in the coming months.
The second segment connecting the cities of Rasht and Astara is expected to be constructed within three years with Azerbaijan’s financial aid.
The Astara-Astara segment which connects the two border cities of the same name in Iran and Azerbaijan is almost ready to come on stream.