Russian official stresses importance of north-south corridor for Iran, Russia

Moscow, IRNA – Chairman of Russian-Iranian Business Council (RIDS) Vladimir Obydenov said on Monday that the north-south corridor constituted the backbone of the EAEU and Iran development and was of vital significance for Tehran and Moscow.

In an interview with an IRNA correspondent in Moscow on Monday, Obydenov said that the north-south corridor is the shortest route from Europe to South and Southeast Asia, passing through Russia and Iran.

Instability in the Middle East and the insecurity in marine routes have made the north-south corridor a potential alternative for the Suez Canal, the Russian official said.

The corridor is a railroad that begins from China and passes through India, Pakistan, and Iran, Obydenov said, adding that but it is interrupted in Iran's Rasht city, awaiting the construction of the 170km Rasht-Astara railway to be connected to Finland and East Europe.

He said that Iran's potential membership in Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) could elevate business transactions between Iran and the EAEU countries.

The official also touched on Iran's accession to Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), saying that this could have a positive effect on Iran-Russia relations, warning that the opportunity, however, wasn't an elixir of all problems and shouldn't be considered a goal.

He further explained that SCO membership was an instrument to reach the goal which is diversification of development in Iran and Iranians should pursue other development plans while awaiting finalization of SCO membership.

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