Iran, Iraq launch construction of joint Shalamcheh-Basra railway project

Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani have laid the foundation stone for the cross-border railway line connecting the two neighboring countries.

Mokhber and Sudani have met on Saturday on the common border to launch the construction of the joint Shalamcheh-Basra railway project.

Speaking at the ceremony, the two top officials discussed bilateral cooperation and highlighted the importance of the project, before launching the executive operation of the construction of the railway project.

The railway, which is 32 kilometers long and split evenly between the two countries, is expected to be completed in 18 months.

Iran is responsible for demining and building a bridge over the Arvand River in Basra, while Iraq is to handle the substructure and pavement work for the entire project. The Iraqi government has allocated about $200 million for the project.

Mokhber described the Shalamcheh-Basra railway as a “strategic plan” for both Iran and Iraq that would transform the West Asia region.

In addition to connecting the two countries’ railways, it will also complete international transportation routes, he added.

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