Iran is seeking to initiate a new strategic transport corridor alongside other existing corridors. The upcoming agreement for Persian Gulf-Black Sea Corridor would link the Indian Ocean and East Asia to Europe through the member countries of the agreement including Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Bulgaria, and Greece.
Linking the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea is among the key plank of connectivity programs attempted by Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran due to proximity to three important seas in the region.
The corridor is initiated by Iran in order to speed up traffic along the route, strengthen regional connectivity, expand trade, and target transit-oriented convergence, according to the director-general of Transit and International Transportation Bureau at Iran’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization (RMTO).
Above all, the multimodal Persian Gulf-Black Sea Corridor Agreement will diversify Iran’s transport corridors for transit from East and Southeast Asia including China, India, and the Persian Gulf states to the Caucasus and Europe and secure Iran’s interests economically and geopolitically.
According to Mehdi Safari, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy, the 6th round of negotiations will be held in May in Sofia, Bulgaria by then the agreement is expected to be ready in order to be signed by the member states.
Previously in December, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia transited a trial run road freight fleet from Iran (Bileh Savar Border terminal in northwestern Ardabil Province in Azerbaijan) to the Black Sea region. In the trial run, the loading of exported goods was in Iran and the destination was Europe. The achievement was accomplished following the visit of Iranian delegation headed by Hedayati, the director-general of Iran Transit and International Transportation Bureau, to Azerbaijan and Georgia in November to form a road link from Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to the Black Sea and Eastern Europe.