Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development for Construction and Development of Railways, Ports and Airports Abbas Khatibi says “Iran will connect Afghanistan to CIS countries, northern countries in Caucasus region, Europe and some countries like Iraq and its southern ports as well as connecting to the international markets.”
Speaking to ILNA, Abbas Khatibi announced that the Khaf-Herat railway will open by mid-December, adding that the railway has been constructed in three parts each with a length of 140 kilometers with the investment of Iranians.
He noted two parts of this railway have been constructed with a length of 78 kilometers inside Iran borders and the third part has been constructed with the length of 62 kilometers inside Afghanistan.
Khatibi added that but the fourth part of the railway from Rozanak Station with the length of 82 kilometers will extend towards Herat that Afghanistan is in charge of its construction.
He stated that data and information show that Afghanistan has provided its necessary sources for constructing the railway from Italy and a Kazakh company is in charge of its construction.
On the connection of this project with Chabahar Port, Khatibi said that the super rail project of Chabahar-Zahedan railway is under the construction, adding that another project is under construction which starts from Zahedan and continues to Birjand and Gonabad and it is connected to the Bafq-Mashhad railway which will complete the eastern corridor of the country that some parts of it are currently under construction.
Khatibi added that if the railway is connected to Bafq-Mashhad route, we actually can connect to Khaf region through Torbat Heydarieh region and from there to connect to Herat.
He emphasized that in this condition, Iran eastern rail corridor is shaped and in the future and with construction of Khaf-Herat railway, Iran can connect Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman through its railway networks and this route will be effective and determininative for Afghanistan which has no access to the free waters.
He reiterated that the advantages of this route for Iran are that major part of the transit of goods of Afghanistan will be directed towards Iran and Iran will connect Afghanistan to CIS countries, northern states of the Caucasian region, Europe and countries like Iraq, even Afghanistan’s southern ports as well as to the international markets.
He reiterated the project has progressed according to the schedule and there has been no delay as Afghans preferred this project to be inaugurated by mid-December.
Khaf-Herat is part of Iran-Afghanistan rail corridor. The project, started in the fiscal year of 2007-2008, connects Iran’s eastern city of Khaf to Afghanistan’s western city of Ghoryan.