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Iran, Russia ink $1.6 billion rail deal to rival Suez Canal

Iran and Russia agreed to build a railway between two Iranian cities as they continue to develop their trade relations despite US sanctions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi hold a meeting in Tehran on July 19, 2022. - Iran's president will host his Russian and Turkish counterparts for talks on the Syrian war in a three-way summit overshadowed by fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Sergei SAVOSTYANOV / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI SAVOSTYANOV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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