Iraq Shuns Rail to Protect Ports

Iraq’s Transport Minister has said that Iraq turned down a project to create rail links between Iraq and the Gulf states because it wanted to project Iraqi ports.

He added that the border problem with Iran had hampered the clearing of sunken ships and materials in Shatt Al-Arab Waterway.

“If the country is linked with the Gulf states and Iran by railways, the Iraqi ports will die!,” Minister Amer Abdul-Jabbar told Saudi Middle East Newspaper.

As regards to the problem with the Iranian side, the Minister said: “The main problem related to clearing up the ships and other materials sunk in Shatt Al-Arab Waterway is the drawing of the borders with Iran,” adding that “there are problems with Iran regarding the drawing of borders, and there is a joint committee discussing the problem, that we hope would be able to settle the problem, to enable us clear the sunken ships and materials as soon as possible.

Iraq does not have the heavy lifting machines, with 2,000-ton capacity, required to lift the sunken ships, but progress has been made.

(Source: Aswat al-Iraq)

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