DUSHANBE, May 27, 2013, Asia-Plus -- Iranian Minister of Road and Urbanization Ali Nikzad has announced that the country plans to link its railway system to the international network in five points, Iranian news agency, Fars News Agency (FNA) reported on May 26.

“Five projects are underway to link Iran''s railroad to the international network, and these projects include linking Sarakhs to Azerbaijan Republic, Khosravi to Iraq, Shalamcheh to Iraq, Chabahar to the South Sea and Iran to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and China,” Nikzad was quoted as saying on Sunday.

According to him, Iran has different plans to link its railway system to the neighboring countries and numerous projects are being implemented to this end.

Earlier this month, Nikzad noted that the joint railway connecting national networks of Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan would come into operation soon.

The railway will link Iran to Turkmenistan and then to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and will connect the CIS countries with the Indian Ocean and high seas and the Persian Gulf littoral states.

The primary agreement on the construction of the rail link among Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan was signed between presidents of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in April 2007 in the city of Turkmenbashi and its final agreement was signed at a summit meeting in Tehran in September of the same year by the three presidents.

FNA reports the total route of the railway is 1000 kilometers, of which 90 kilometers would be in Iran, 700 kilometers in Turkmenistan and 210 kilometers in Kazakhstan.

The railway reportedly facilitates transportation of goods from the Central Asian countries to the Persian Gulf.