Iran Steps up Delivery of Goods to Russia via North-South Corridor
Tehran and Moscow recently agreed to boost the shipping corridor with a railway that will connect Iran’s railroad to Russia and the rest of Europe
Iran will be launching “direct maritime voyages” on a weekly basis to deliver goods from its port of Bandar Anzali to Russian ports in the Caspian Sea, aimed at strengthening the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), Tehran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on 29 May.
“Presently, containerized transportation services are underway by the Caspian Sea Shipping Company from the country’s northern ports to ports in Russia,” chief executive of Iran’s Caspian Sea Shipping Company, Kambiz Jahanbani, was quoted as saying by Tasnim.
“The INSTC has registered a 360 percent growth in the transportation of goods,” Jahanbani added.
In July 2022, Iran completed its first transit of Russian goods to India using the INSTC shipping corridor.
As a zone free of western sanctions, the corridor has been described as a viable option for trade between the two countries.
On 17 May, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement to create the Rasht-Astara railway, which is expected to boost the INSTC by connecting South Asia to northern Europe and potentially ‘rivaling’ the Suez Canal.
“Once this railway is put into operation, Iran’s railroad will be connected to Russia and then to Europe,” Jahanbani continued, referring to the agreement as “a turning point” for the INSTC.
Iran and Russia have recently been boosting cooperation in a number of fields, including energy, trade, finance, defense, and transport.
Their cooperation aims to alleviate the effects of aggressive western sanctions – which target both countries – while also striving towards building a flourishing economy independent from western clutches.
Iran has also joined the Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Council (SCO), and has been trading with the BRICS+ nations with the intention of officially joining the group of emerging economies.
Additionally, Tehran continues to strengthen ties with various Global South nations that are looking to move away from the hegemonic western economic system, including Brazil and Venezuela.