Iran and Russia signed an executory contract on Tuesday for the construction of a railway inside Iran, which will be part of an international transport route linking South Asia to Northern Europe.
The contract was signed on the sidelines of a trilateral meeting among Iran, Russia, and India on the facilitation of transit through the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) hosted by the Iranian Roads and Urban Development Ministry in Tehran.
According to the Iranian news agency IRNA, the design work for the 162-km railway between the northern Iranian cities of Rasht and Astara, which will be built as part of the INSTC, is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, and the operations to implement the project will begin in 2024.
The executory contract outlines the duration of the project, necessary guarantees, as well as other terms and conditions for its implementation.
In May, Iran and Russia signed a framework agreement on building the railway in a ceremony attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin through a video conference. The contract stipulates that Russia will invest 1.6 billion euros in the construction of the strategic railway, which is anticipated to be completed within 48 months.
The strengthening of bilateral political and economic ties between Iran and Russia comes amid ongoing sanctions imposed by the United States on both nations. This development underscores their shared efforts to counter the impacts of the sanctions by expanding cooperation.