Business And Markets

Tehran, Kabul Sign Rail MoU

Tehran, Kabul Sign Rail MoU
Tehran, Kabul Sign Rail MoU

Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharaft, the head of the Afghanistan Railway Authority, and a delegation from Iran signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to expand collaboration in the rail sector.
The MoU was inked in the western province of Herat, Afghanistan, Khama Press reported.
The Afghanistan Railway Authority stated that the two parties discussed enhancing their bilateral collaboration during the signing ceremony.
Following the agreement, Iran declared its preparedness to build the Khaf-Herat railroad. Iranian government representatives have emphasized their interest in resurrecting the Silk Road using trains.
Afghanistan and Iran opened their first rail link across their borders in December 2020. In 2007, the construction of the 225-km railroad that connects Herat, in western Afghanistan, with Khaf, in eastern Iran, was started.
One of the four parts of this line, an 85-km stretch between Ghurian and Herat, which is located in Afghanistan and has two sections in Iran, remains incomplete.
The first trip between Khaf and Ghurian, which will move freight and passenger trains, was performed by a train carrying 500 tons of cement. Iran provided funding for the $75 million railroad connecting Iran and Afghanistan as part of its development support to that country.
According to Iranian officials, the former Afghan administration, which received support from the US, sought to link the Khaf-Herat railroad to the Hairatan border and the rail system of Uzbekistan to China.


Expanding Trade Prospects

The Herat-Khaf railroad was officially inaugurated on July 11, and the process of trade between Afghanistan and Iran will begin from this route, Bakhtar News Agency reported.
Afghanistan can be connected to India through Iran’s Chabahar Port through this route.
The Herat-Khaf railroad was inaugurated with the participation of several high-ranking officials from Afghanistan and Iran.
The head of Afghanistan Railway Authority termed the opening of this line important in terms of developing economic cooperation between the two countries, adding that through this line, Afghanistan will be connected to Chabahar Port and through that to India.
Governor of Herat Mawlana Noor Ahmad Islamjar says that the start of the railroad will expand the country’s trade.
He called the Khaf railroad an indication of the strong bond of friendship between the two nations of Afghanistan and Iran, and stated that the local administration of Herat will spare no efforts in protecting the Herat-Khaf railroad.
Yaqoob Ali Nazari, the governor of Iran’s Khorasan Razavi Province, says that this railroad is the beginning of more economic cooperation between the two countries and can be a bridge between East and West Asia.
Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Mawlavi Zabihullah Mujahid gave assurance and said small issues will never cause division between the two countries.
The Khaf-Herat railroad between Iran and Afghanistan and the transfer of goods from Turkey to Afghanistan through Herat Pass opened a major trade route between Afghanistan and Europe.

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