ITI rail link opens in blow to US bid to isolate Iran

ITI rail link opens in blow to US bid to isolate Iran

The first freight train to run from Pakistan to Turkey through Iran has departed after a 10-year hiatus in a major boost to the trading credentials of the three founders of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

According to Press TV, the 6,540 km journey from Islamabad to Europe’s largest city will take 10 days, less than half the time needed for the equivalent voyage of 21 days by sea.

The train left a depot at Margala Station in the Pakistan capital to the Turkish city on the Bosphorus Strait on Tuesday, hauling dozens of containers.

It will cover 1,990 km inside Pakistan, passing through Quetta into Taftan at the Iranian border and on to Tehran and Tabriz over a 2,603 km stretch before ending up in Istanbul through Ankara.

The three countries launched the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) container train service in 2009, but it only got as far as test runs…

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