Under the agreement, which follows the recent signing of an MoU by the transport ministers of the two countries, FS will support RAI in the design, construction and commissioning of the Tehran - Hamedan and Qom - Arak high-speed lines.

FS says its engineering subsidiary Italferr has been awarded a contract by RAI to provide technical assistance for the design of the 400km Tehran - Qom - Isfahan high-speed line. FS will also provide assistance in the procurement of new rolling stock

Last year RAI awarded Italcertifer, another FS subsidiary, a contract to provide technical assistance for a project to develop a rolling stock testing laboratory, which will support the introduction of new trains.

All of the cooperation commitments in the MoU will be funded through an loan based on export credits, which could be worth up to €5bn.