0847 GMT October 15, 2019
Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri announced on Tuesday that the Leader has given approval to withdrawing a sum of $300 million from the National Development Fund for completing a railroad project that links the city of Zahedan to the port of Chabahar in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan, Tasnim News Agency reported.
He also called on the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development to pursue the project seriously.
The vice president said the railroad project would be part of a plan for the development of the Makran coast in southeastern Iran.
The strategic Makran region has attracted the attention of many Iranian decision-makers and military officials, particularly after Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need for the development of the region, located mainly in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
The large, underprivileged province borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, and has a long coastline at the Sea of Oman. The desert province grapples with severe water shortage, particle pollution, underdeveloped infrastructure and transit of illicit drugs.