April 8, 2016
Translated by Kristina Kharlova
Russia and Iran are discussing building a navigable canal from the Caspian sea to the Persian Gulf, announced the ambassador of Iran in Russia Mehdi Snai at the meeting with students of St. Petersburg State University, reports TASS.
“Yes, this issue is being discussed”, — he answered to a question from students about the canal. The ambassador did not go into details.
On Thursday, Mehdi Sanai read lectures to students about Iranian domestic politics and international relations in the Russian language.
Note that even in 2012 there have been reports about the probable beginning of such construction. This was reported with reference to the minister of energy of Iran Majid Namjou by the Iranian news Agency “Fars”. Investments were estimated by the minister at $7 billion.
This channel will connect the Arctic seas and the Baltic region through a water-transport system of Russia to the Persian Gulf and the Indian ocean. Thus Russia and many countries in Eastern Europe for the first time will get an option of an alternative route in addition to the current one through Bosphorus – Dardanelles – Suez canal and the Red sea.
“Expert-Online” indicates that the idea of a shipping canal from the Caspian sea to the Persian Gulf was discussed at least since the beginning of the twentieth century. But then the experts evaluating the project were skeptical. The fact is that the Caspian sea is located below sea level, the distance between to the bay – 2 thousand km, the potential route of the canal has to cross mountains and lowlands, and also deserts. However, this project was not recognized as technically impossible…
Yesterday after talks with foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Iran, Russia agreed to work on detailed scenarios for the implementation of the project of transport corridor “North – South”, which would pass along the Western coast of the Caspian sea from Russia to Iran through Azerbaijan, said the minister of foreign affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov.
Transport corridor “North – South” is the route from St. Petersburg to India, port of Mumbai (Bombay), with a length of 7,2 thousand km. Its purpose is the shipping of goods from India, Iran and other countries of the Persian Gulf to the Russian territory through the Caspian sea and later to Northern and Western Europe.