TEHRAN: February 14, 2016. Iran’s state-owned PressTV channel reports the arrival of the first train from China’s eastern province of Zhejiang to Tehran via Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
The train left Yiwu, China on January 28 and reportedly covered the 10,400 kilometers in 14 days carrying thirty-two 40 ft. containers of commercial products.
Mohsen Pourseyyed Aqai, head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways commented: "This is an important step for the revival of the Silk Road and the train has traveled 700 kilometers per day, saving 30 days compared to [the] normal time [it] takes to go this distance.”
Aqai said the train’s initial schedule will be once a month and the service is expected to continue on to Europe. “After inauguration of the freight railroad from China to Europe, more goods will be transited through Iran to European countries and this will increase the Islamic Republic’s transit revenue,” he declared. (Picture Fars news agency.)
Last year China launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with US$100 billion in capital and the New Silk Road Fund with US$40 billion to finance major infrastructure projects including the development of the New Silk Road.
According to PressTV, Tehran has pledged US$6 billion over the next six years in support of the initiative.