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Russian Railways: US sanctions not to affect Iran plans

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – State monopoly Russian Railways says it does not expect its development projects in Iran, including a 1.2 billion euro electrification plan, to be impacted by planned US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The company signed a deal in November 2015 to electrify the 500 km Garmsar-Ince Burun line in northeast Iran, which stretches to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, linking Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and beyond.

“In Iran, we will be engaged in electrification which is related directly to railway transport. We believe that this is a completely civilian project that does not fall under the sanctions, but we are clarifying it,” Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov told Sputnik.

The work is scheduled to begin in July and the Russian government to provide funds as part of a $5 billion credit line which Moscow has undertaken to extend for infrastructure projects in Iran.

The contract covers design, sourcing of materials and equipment and construction of stations and tunnels, traction substations, section pillars, duty posts of the contact station and the power supply administration building.

In 2012, Russian Railways completed the electrification of the Tabriz-Azarshahr railway line in northwest Iran.

The Russians have also announced readiness to carry out the 600 km Tehran-Tabriz rail electrification project, which is also eyed by the Germans and Italians.

In July 2017, Russia’s largest manufacturer of locomotives and rail equipment, CJSC Transmashholding, signed a 2.5 billion euro deal with IDRO Group in Tehran for joint production of rolling stock in Iran.

Belozerov said his company had also held preliminary talks on possible participation in the reconstruction of Syria’s railroads but that no decisions had been made yet.

Last month, Russian Railways First Vice-President Alexander Misharin said Iran had proposed railway electrification projects worth 3 billion euros to his country.

The projects included electrifying 3,000 kilometers of lines in Iran which is on an ambitious railway expansion and modernization drive.

According to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Tehran and Moscow have devised a package of projects that are collectively worth $35 billion to $40 billion.

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