Rail connection with Iraq, Iran priority: Damascus

As Syrians look to rebuild war-torn country, Terhan is rushing to aid the governemnt of President Bashar al-Assad. Transiting goods via Iraq is of utmost importance to bring down the costs and cut short the distance.

19 January 2019
ID : 11778
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Connecting Syria's railroad to Iranian and Iraqi railways are among Damascus' priorities as part of the country's strategic framework to forge ties with neighboring states, said the Syrian transport minister, according to Iran Daily. 

Ali Hammoud said a 32-kilometer railroad is required to be built by Iraq to connect Shalamcheh in western Iran to Basra's railway in southwestern Iraq and from there to Kerbala (central Iraq) and finally northern Iraq.

He noted that once the construction of the railroad is completed, Iraqis will be able to travel to different parts of Iran and Syria and exchange goods with Syrian cities, including the port of Latakia.

The Syrian minister stressed that following its completion the railway network will be linked to those of Central Asia as well as China and Russia.

He said this railway will be part of the Silk Road, adding attempts are underway by Syria to prepare the ground for the road to pass through its territory.

Iranian officials have, so far, repeatedly called for the speedy construction of the Shalamcheh-Basra railroad, which, upon completion, will help facilitate transportation of goods and passengers between Iran and Iraq.

Iran Roads and Urban Development Minister, Mohammad Eslami, says Tehran has reached a preliminary agreement with Baghadad to construct railways connecting the south-western Iranian city of Khorramsharh to Basra in Iraq, on the other side of the Arvand River, the natural border between the two countries. "We hope that necessary coordination is accelerated so the construction of 35-kilometer Shalamche-Basra through a bridge on the Arvand River gets underway soon," added Eslami. An official at Iranian Railways says the the route will be connected by a bascule bridge over the Arvand River.

Iran is also seeking to transit its commodities to Syria via Iraq on road in a bid to cut short the distance as well as reduce the maritime transit and Turkey road costs. Tehran is trying to win big contracts in Syria and Iraq's multi-billion-dollar reconstruction market

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