YEREVAN, October 25. / ARKA /. Armenia and Iran agreed to hold discussions on the construction of Iran-Armenia railway, Iran’s energy minister Majid Namju, who is also the Iranian co-chairman of the bilateral intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation, said today in Yerevan after the regular session of the commission.
"We have agreed to continue discussions on a series of related issues with the participation of all stakeholders," the Iranian official said after signing the Memorandum of Understanding following October 23-25 meeting of the commission.
According to him, the construction is of great importance both for Armenian and Iranian sides.
The railway between Iran-Armenia will enable the Armenian side to use alternative routes for transportation of energy and other commodities and gain access to the outside world. According to expert estimates, the project may cost up to $2.8 billion. Construction of the road is currently under discussion with Russia, Iran and China. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are also interested in this project. Currently, Armenia has railway communication with Georgia in the north.
Armenian and Iranian Presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad instructed their transport ministers in 2011 December to start practical implementation of strategic joint programs – to build a big hydroelectric plant on the Armenian-Iranian border, a pipeline to ship Iranian fuel to Armenia, the railway and a third power transmission line connecting the two neighboring countries. -0-