Iran and Afghanistan launched a strategic railway section connecting the two countries on Tuesday in a ceremony attended by officials from both countries, the Tehran Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The 222-kilometer-long Khaf-Herat railway the project started in 2007-2008 to connect Iran's eastern city of Khaf to Afghanistan's western city of Ghoryan. It is part of a broader 2,000-kilometer-long East-West railroad running through China, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Türkiye to Europe.
The railway provides landlocked Afghanistan access to the high seas via Iranian ports in the northern country. It was mainly implemented by Iran under a tripartite agreement between Iran, Afghanistan, and India, to use the capacities of Iran's Chabahar port for expanding trade exchanges with Afghanistan.
The inauguration of the railway is a significant step in the development of trade and economic cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan. It is also expected to boost regional connectivity and facilitate the flow of goods between Asia and Europe.
According to the statement made by the office of Afghanistan’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs on May 1, Afghanistan is planning to build a large-scale railway network between Moscow and New Delhi, connecting Russia and Central Asia with South Asia, Afghanistan and Iran.