As the United States enacts sanctions on Iran, Iran is increasing its influence in Iraq with plans for a railway that could work around US restrictions.
The state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) revealed details Nov. 12 about its project to build a railway connecting Iran's Shalamcheh border crossing to the port of Basra in southeast Iraq.
Maziar Yazdani, RAI's deputy head of infrastructure and technical affairs, said the Shalamcheh-Basra leg of the project will require only 20 miles of new track at a cost of about $52,000. With the new addition, the rail system will span Iraq to reach Syria's Mediterranean port city of Latakia.
(Picture Credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)