0928 GMT February 18, 2020
According to Fars News Agency, Director General of Iranian Railway Company's International Affairs Department Abbas Nazari said, "Bilateral and trilateral talks between Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia have taken place to launch the Astara-Moscow passenger train service and the continuation of these negotiations calls for technical and elaborate trade discussions between the experts of the three countries.
"The North-South corridor is one of the strategic projects between the two countries."
Nazari underlined that the South-West Corridor and the link between the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf is yet another major railway projects that will transport goods from European countries of Poland, Ukraine and Georgia as well as Azerbaijan and Iran to the Persian Gulf, India and other states of the Persian Gulf.
In October 2015, Iran-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Cooperation Commission ratified the implementation of the North-South Corridor.
"The two sides agreed on construction of the Rasht-Astara railways as well as completion of Qazvin-Rasht railways and its connection to Rasht-Astara by 2016," said Iran's former ambassador to Azerbajian Mohsen Pakaein.
"The Silk Road will also be completed by Iranian and Azerbaijani railways, and European countries such as Finland can be connected via Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran to the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman," he added.
Earlier in September, 2017, Iran's Roads and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi underlined Tehran's willingness to expand railway connections with neighbors, and said Iran is ready to complete Qazvin-Rasht-Anzali-Astara railway in cooperation with Russia and Azerbaijan.
He made the remarks in a meeting with Azerbaijani Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev in Tehran.
Akhoundi said that for the development of Iran-Azerbaijan transportation relations in addition to the completion of Qazvin-Astara railway which might take several years, are among the two short-term mechanisms which have been proposed for speedy implementation.