PREPARATIONS for the construction of a 32km line connecting the Iranian and Iraqi railway systems have been completed.

In a meeting between the ambassador of Iran to Iraq, Mr Iraj Masjedi, and the secretary of Council of Ministers in Iraq, Mr Hamid Naim Al-Ghazi, on August 9, it was confirmed that organisations in Iran working on the preparations had completed their work.

An agreement was reached on May 27 to connect the two country’s railways via the Basra - Shalamcheh line in southern Iraq, Masjedi says.

A 17km section connecting the Khorramshahr Railway to the Shalamcheh Border was completed back in 2011, but since then the 32km section has remained uncomplete.

“The project will expand trade exchanges and transit transport between the two sides,” he says.

Meanwhile, in Iran, Mr Rostam Ghasemi, the proposed minister of Roads and Urban Development confirmed the government is looking to raise private funds for projects, including building rail lines,  due to a limited government budget and the Ministry’s limited resources.

In further meetings with various parliamentary groups on August 16, Ghasemi stressed the need to complete the Iran-China railway via Afghanistan, and lines to Turkmenistan and China.

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