Iran and Russia signed a major railway agreement on Wednesday. The deal is part of the International North–South Transport Corridor the two countries are developing with India to rival the Suez Canal.
The $1.6 billion agreement is to build a 162-kilometer (100-mile) railway between the Iranian city of Rasht on the Caspian Sea and the Iranian city of Astara on the border with Azerbaijan. Iranian Roads Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash signed the deal with his Russian counterpart, Vitaly Savelyev, during a video conference, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
"This is indeed a great event for the region, for the entire world transport infrastructure, for our countries," said Russian President Vladimir Putin during the conference, Russia’s official TASS news agency reported.
Iran and Russia will jointly supply the development of the project, according to TASS.