(Persia Digest) – India, Iran, and Russia will be meeting on 23 November 2018 to discuss a 7200-km route as a shorter, more cost-effective alternative for the Suez Canal.
The international North-South route is a combination of sea-rail transport system connecting the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to Russia and northern Europe via Iran.
This project has emerged pursuant to China’s “One Belt, One Road” project and the two roads will merge in Iranian soil.
Once operational, the route will allow India to ship its goods to Bandar Abbas by sea transport. From here, the goods will be transported to Bandar Anzali, a Caspian Sea port in Iran, and then on to Astrakhan in Russia. The route will continue by rail until it reaches Europe.
This will cut costs down by 30-40 percent. As compared to the Suez Canal route, transport time from Mumbai to Moscow will also be cut down by 20 days. An estimated 20-30 million tons of goods per year can be transported on this route.
India needs to transfer its goods through China or Europe to Central Asia. Chinese and European routes are lengthy, costly, and time consuming. Iran is the more functional route. India is also endeavoring to connect the strategic Chabahar Port in southeastern Iran to this route. Top officials from all three countries met in Tehran last week to discuss the project.
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