China’s strategic interest in Iran is intensifying. Chinese manufacturers are looking to establish new operations in Iran, and Tehran is viewed as a vital transport and logistics hub.
Iran is focusing in 2017 on expanding its railway network so that it can better align with China’s Central Asian logistics strategy, Iranian Minister of Transport Abbas Akhodi said recently. The minister added that the chief goal for Iran’s Department of Transportation would be to improve connections of the national rail network to neighboring railway networks. China is also providing $1.5 billion in financing to electrify the Tehran-Mashad trunk line, and another $1.8 billion to establish a high-speed rail connection linking Tehran, Qom and Isfahan. In return, Iranian authorities are slashing transit tariffs for Chinese goods, according to railway chief Saeed Mohammedzadeh.
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