China, Russia Negotiating To Build And Develop Next Generation Of Iranian Airports

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116 Iranian airports need upgrades and redevelopment

Siavash Amir Mokri, the Managing Director of Iran Airports has stated that the country is in joint discussions with China and Russia to rebuild and redevelop the countries airports over an on-going, two-decade series of re-development projects.

Iran signed off a 25-year trade and investment agreement with China last year with China BRI engineering and construction projects coming into Iran in return for energy supplies. Tehran is poised to reach a similar, 20-year agreement with Russia, and has already agreed a Free Trade deal with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) which includes Russia as well as Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Just non-energy trade between Iran and the EAEU grew by 93% last year, while Iran-China trade reached US$20 billion last year. All indicators show these trends, and Iran’s trade and investment with Central Asia, to increase.

Mokri stated “There are 116 airports operating in Iran. There’s at least one operating airport in each province. Tehran (IKA) International Airport is the biggest airport located in the south of Tehran, the capital city of Iran. We definitely need new international airports in the future.”

Iran’s International Airports

Iran has been badly hit by US sanctions over the past two decades with much national infrastructure now well past its depreciation date. However, geopolitically the country is turning East and has major infrastructure developments such as the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) a multi-modal route operating as a competitive Suez Canal alternative linking Russia, and Azerbaijan via the Caspian Sea and Iran through to India.

Railway connections are also being put in place spinning West from the INSTC to Turkey and Europe, East through to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and South to East Africa, the Gulf States and South Asia.

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Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the Chairman of Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists British and Foreign Investment into Asia and has 28 offices throughout China, India, the ASEAN nations and Russia. For strategic and business intelligence concerning China’s Belt & Road Initiative please email or visit us at