1135 GMT December 14, 2019
Hossein Ashouri told Trend News Agency that the Azerbaijani side had requested Iran to facilitate the transportation of cargoes from Nakhchivan to southern Iranian ports and "We have approved a 40-percent discount on fees."
He further said that the trial operation of cargo transit from India to Russia via Iran and Azerbaijan will be carried out in August.
"Cargo will be shipped from India to Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf, then it will be transited via rail to Qazvin and from there by trucks to the Azerbaijan city of Astara near the border with Iran. Finally the cargo will be delivered to Russia via the Azerbaijan-Russia railroad," he said.
The trial operation of cargo transit will come as a pragmatic step toward the realization of the combined transportation goal of the North-South Corridor.
The North-South transportation corridor is meant to connect Northern Europe to Southeast Asia. It will serve as a link connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.
Currently Iran should complete Rasht-Astara sector of the corridor which is estimated to take about 3-4 years. Following this, the participating countries would transport the cargoes on a combined transportation route.
In the initial stage, the North-South corridor will transport five million tons of cargo and eventually this figure will reach over 10 million tons.