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Iran Is Emerging as the Connectivity Link for Vast Section of Asia and Europe

Feb. 13, 2017 (EIRNS)—Iran, linked to Central Asia, South Asia, and Southwest Asia by land and situated on the Persian Gulf, is emerging as the connectivity link between Asia and Europe. Head of the Economy Ministry’s Department of Banking and Insurance Affairs, Alireza Khatounzadeh Abyaneh, talking to Shada.ir, the Economy Ministry’s Economic News and Financial Affairs Center, said Iran became one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in order to exploit the "great opportunity to tap a great potential for resources and investment," the Iranian English-language daily Financial Tribune reported today.

"Due to our budget limitations and a shortage of funds, benefiting from these resources for our infrastructure projects is of great importance, and, based on AIIB’s statutes, Iran is eligible to use its resources, not only in its infrastructure projects but also to undertake similar projects in other member countries and move toward sustainable economic development,"

he said. He also pointed out that "since China is the founder of AIIB and also the force behind the New Silk Road, and as Iran is located on the Silk Road, the northeastern provinces will be able to use the bank’s resources for infrastructure [projects]."

Iran is also a very important participant on the North-South corridor (International North-South Transport Corridor), which will enable goods to get transported from the Persian Gulf through the Caspian Sea by ship and along both the shores of the Caspian Sea by railroad. This particular corridor will be used by the South, Southeast, East, and Central Asian countries to access Europe through Russia.

A major beneficiary of this route will be land-locked Afghanistan, which will secure access to the corridor as well as to the Arabian Sea and beyond. Afghanistan’s Consul-General in India, Mohammad Aman Amin, said that Chabahar Port of Iran, which is being developed by India, "is likely to open in a month’s time, and it will provide impetus to the trade between India and Afghanistan," Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

The opening of the Chabahar Port will enable the Asian countries, located on the Arabian Sea, Andaman Sea and Indian and Pacific Oceans, to access the North-South land corridor through Iran to Afghanistan, Central Asia, Russia, and Europe.