Iran Tests New Trade Route Linking Russia To Asian Export Markets

According to the Iranian state's shipping company, Iran has commenced its first shipment of Russian goods to India using a new trade route that uses Iran to link Russia to Asian export markets.

The first shipment, which consists of wood laminate sheets weighing about 41 tons which began its departure at Saint Petersburg, Russia to the port city of Astrakhan. From there, the shipment will cross the Caspian Sea to the Iranian port of Anzali, where it will be transported by road to the port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf. After this, it will be loaded back onto a ship and transported to the Indian port of Nhava Sheva, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA.

Dariush Jamali, director of a joint-owned Iranian-Russian terminal in Astrakhan said that the initial shipment is a 'pilot' transfer in order to test the corridor.

Jamali said that the transfer is being coordinated and managed by the Iranian state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines Group along with its regional offices in Russia and India, and expects that it will take 25 days.

After heavy sanctions were placed on Russia, Iran has been wanting to revive the North-South Transit Corridor that had previously been stalled. The Times of India reports that eventually, the plan will be to build a railroad that transfers goods "arriving at Iranian Caspian Sea ports to the southeastern port of Chabahar".