News ID: 258988
Published: 0256 GMT September 20, 2019

Iran, Turkey to launch int’l transit corridor

Iran, Turkey to launch int’l transit corridor

Iranian Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Shahram Adamnejad said Tehran and Ankara have reached major agreements on road and railroad transport, including on establishment of an international corridor connecting Afghanistan to Turkey via Iran.

In remarks released on Friday, Adamnejad pointed to the 27th Iran-Turkey Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting, which was underway in Ankara since Tuesday, and highlighted the extensive talks between the two sides about ways to strengthen the east-west transit route, Press TV reported.

“During these meetings, much emphasis was placed on the establishment and strengthening of the Afghanistan-Iran-Turkey transit corridor,” he said.

It was also agreed that Iran would send the minutes of the meetings about the establishment of the corridor to Turkey and Afghanistan to finalize it in a trilateral meeting, he added.

The two sides also discussed the Turkey-Iran-Qatar transit corridor within the framework of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) reached in September 2017 and the implementation of the agreement on the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) corridor.

Iran and Turkey have agreed to launch direct train services between Tehran and Ankara.

Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Saeid Rasouli announced in early June that in addition to the Tehran-Ankara and Tehran-Van trains, tourist trains will be operated between the two neighboring countries.

He said Iran and Turkey have finalized an agreement on tariffs on cargo trains traveling between the two countries.

Turkey is one of Iran’s major trading partners in the region which has come under pressure from Washington to stop working with Tehran under a fresh wave of US anti-Iran sanctions.

On Wednesday, Turkey’s Minister of Trade Ruhsar Pekcan said her country has been the worst hit by a series of American sanctions imposed on Iran.

"Turkey has been the most affected by the sanctions imposed on Iran,” said Pekcan.

The minister said, however, that Ankara would continue to seek to expand its trade ties with Tehran despite the American pressures.

Tehran and Ankara have set a $30-billion annual trade target, signing several agreements to enhance cooperation in various areas.

Sanction has affected the trade, however, with current exchanges estimated to be around $12 billion. The hit of the bans has been mostly felt in Turkey’s import of energy and petrochemicals from Iran.

Pekcan told the Wednesday meeting attended by the head of the office of the Iranian president Mahmoud Vaezi that Turkey and Iran would still be able to move toward the $30 billion goal in bilateral trade given opportunities that could arise from a preferential trade agreement between the two countries.

She said a total of 166 Turkish companies have remained active in Iran despite the US sanctions while bringing to the country a total of $1.3 billion in investment.

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