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Iran Planning Super-Highway to Connect with Mediterranean

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Iran’s Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper has reported that the Iranian government is planning to build a highway connecting Tehran with cities in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. The ambitious project, if it comes to fruition, is expected to serve as Tehran’s main transit route for exports.
According to the media outlet, Iranian authorities have already signed bilateral agreements on the construction of a 1,700 km long land route with authorities in Baghdad and Damascus.

The highway will connect Tehran with ports in Syria and Lebanon as well as with their respective capitals of Damascus and Beirut. An Iranian construction company will execute the project, which will be implemented over five years with as yet unspecified costs, for the purpose of transferring goods from Iran to the Mediterranean through Iraqi, Lebanese and Syrian ports. It will also serve Iran’s tourism ambitions, and is expected to bring about 8-12 million tourists to Iran.

Russia is thought to be part of the deal. Sources say that the deal includes allowing Russia to dominate the oil fields at Dir ez-Zor in Syria, for allowing Iran to expand the highway from Tehran to Syria. It is also expected to be used primarily as a transit route for Iranian goods to the ports in the Mediterranean Sea for their subsequent export. The project’s budget has not yet been disclosed, but according to latest estimates, it is expected to pay off in five years after the highway’s launch.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments: “We are nearing the end of the Syrian civil war, and reconstruction is now on the agenda. Iran and Russia are now the respective regional players, and the Shia Islamic faction has emerged as dominant. One hopes that ill-advised Western military involvement in the region will cease and all parties can now concentrate on peace and trade rather than conflict. Iran has a crucial part to play in the logistics and transport routes of the new economic Silk Road and it will be able to assert authority over what has been a troubled region.”

 

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Silk Road Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm provides business intelligence, investment advisory, due diligence, tax advisory, corporate establishment and structuring, accounting, payroll and related professional services throughout China, India, ASEAN, Russia and the Eurasian region, servicing both Governments and Multinational clients. To contact us please email silkroad@dezshira.com or visit us at www.dezshira.com

 

Related Reading:

Iran Completes First Phase of Chabahar Port and International North-South Transport Corridor


Iran Looks to Create Persian Gulf – Black Sea Trade Corridor


Iran-Russia Rail Corridor Direct to Europe


China’s New Economic Silk Road

This unique and currently only available study into the proposed Silk Road Economic Belt examines the institutional, financial and infrastructure projects that are currently underway and in the planning stage across the entire region. Covering over 60 countries, this book explores the regional reforms, potential problems, opportunities and longer term impact that the Silk Road will have upon Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

 

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