Iran Touts Russia-Iran-India ‘North-South Trade Corridor’ As “Alternative” & Challenge To Suez Canal

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Coming after a ‘successful’ weekend in which sanctions-beleaguered Iran hailed its signing a major 25-year infrastructure and investment agreement with China, Iran’s ambassador to Russia is also touting that a new north-south trade corridor across the region could become a prime ‘alternative’ to the strategic Suez Canal waterway that’s been featured in global headlines due to the ‘Ever Given’ stuck tanker disaster that just played out.

Called the “International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)” — a two decades in the making ambitious project — the new trade corridor, currently partially in operation, is 7,200km long, linking up Russia, Iran, and India and ultimately accelerating trade with Europe as well.

Iran Touts Russia-Iran-India 'North-South Trade Corridor' As "Alternative" & Challenge To Suez Canal

“The North-South corridor is a great option to replace the Suez Canal with a reduction in travel times to 20 days and savings of up to 30 percent.”

He further described that the mounting huge costs and fallout from the Ever Given jam disaster (commonly ballparked in the many multiple billions) demonstrates “the need to speed up the completion of infrastructure and the North-South corridor as an alternative to the route through the Suez Canal has become clear and more important than ever.”

Iran Touts Russia-Iran-India 'North-South Trade Corridor' As "Alternative" & Challenge To Suez Canal
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A regional analysis site, Silk Road Briefing, reviews the recent history of the project as follows:

The INSTC project came into being in 2002, when the transport ministers of Russia, Iran, and India signed an agreement to create a multimodal ship, rail and road-based transport network stretching 7,200 km, from Mumbai, western India to Moscow via Iran and the Caspian Sea. Since then, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Oman, and Syria have all joined the project, and new routes via Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries have been examined to eliminate the need to transfer cargoes from overland-based transport to cargo ships and back…

The claims of reduced transport travel time and cost are often advanced according to these estimates:

The INSTC corridor has been tested, and cuts current transport costs by between 30-60 percent, in addition to reducing the transit time from west India to western Russia from 40 to 20 days. Dry runs of the route carried out in 2014 and 2017 identified potential bottlenecks and confirmed cost and shipping time estimates.

It’s been dubbed in Russian media, even long before the latest Suez crisis, a challenge to the Suez canal.

Also sometimes compared to the ancient ‘Silk Road’ (the most famous East-West trade route across Asia from antiquity through the Middle Ages) – and somewhat akin to China’s expanding Belt & Road initiative under President Xi, it primarily by rail links two major bodies of water – the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf – by way of Iran to Russia and northern Europe.


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johnny rotten

Although in a long-term perspective it is necessary to consider that Europe will end up in rubble, these commercial channels will still be useful in intra Asian terms, the West is already a little started to irrelevance and in the future will make it worse.

cechas vodobenikov

another phenomenon to upset the decayed declining empire and the crippled colonies that believe their hollywood phantasies

He who laughs last laughs best

In and perfect world, the Suez channel would have been replaced by this route…
But this is not a perfect world.

Maybe the Suez should regularly be blocked, by tankers under those countries flags

Kenny Jones ™

Not through Azeristan, that country must be isolated, make it go through Armenia, Iran

Random Dude

Armenia doesn’t have a border with Russia. Check the map.
Also no railway or highway connecting with Iran.

Rhodium 10

Look at maps please!….Armenia is linked with Iran…therefore containers are being trasporting to Armenia through trucks from a port close to Caspian…

Random Dude

And from Armenia it magically teleports to Russia? Did you even read the article?

Rhodium 10

There are a road which link Armenia with Iran road and with Iran railways or Caspian port….thats why is how Russian supply Armenia with military equipment before NK war!

Random Dude

1st. You seem to be severely confused. The article is not about how to supply Armenia. The article is how to link India to Russia via Iran. I can copy paste the title for you if necessary.
2nd. There are well paved mountain roads (1 lane each way), yes. That is not a highway, as not feasible for speedy transportation of goods.
There is no railway linking Armenia to Iran. The old soviet railway goes through Nakhchivan. That is Azerbaijani territory. Hence there is not highway or railway between Iran and Armenia. These are facts.

Rhodium 10

Man you dont know nothing!….there is a railway between Azerbajan to Russia…also a highway…there are cargo Ships which can transport containers from Iran to Astrahkan in Russia and from there along Volga-Don rivers or by Train to Belarus-Europe

Random Dude

Yes what you wrote above is true, but what does it have to do with Armenia?
Did you even read the thread before commenting?

Rhodium 10

There are a railway from Chabahar port in Iran to Caspian sea port and the railway can take 2 ways to Azerbajan – Russia or Turmenistan-Kazajistan….

Random Dude

and non of those go through Armenia. So again same questions, what does it have to do with Armenia?

Rhodium 10

Armnia receive goods through Iran and Georgia…if I send a container from India to Armenia I use that route…later in Bandar e Anzali ( port of caspian sea and Hub for containers)…I load the truck and take the road to Armenia….therefore I am using the North-South Trade Corridor!…it is difficult for you to understand?…

Random Dude

At this point I don’t even know if you are dumb or just pretending. I will make it very easy for you:
Which one do you think non-dumb transportation company will choose?
Hint: Both Armenia and Georgia roads are mountainous, Upper Lars corridor is closed in winter, politically motivated decisions by Georgia to close border with Russia from time to time.
Bonus hint: no railway link between Iran and Armenia, railway between Russia and Georgia closed as it goes through Abkhazia.

I repeat the article is not about if Armenia is isolated or not. The article is about linking Russia with India (TITLE: Iran Touts Russia-Iran-India ‘North-South Trade Corridor’ As “Alternative” & Challenge To Suez Canal) Here is a bonus link for ya:
Hence again::: Armenia is irrelevant in this case.

Mustafa Mehmet

Kenny boy go back to school


way to go, good initiative… everybody (except Egypt) can benefit from


That helps South Asia, but not China which is the source of most of the traffic. Arctic seems more plausible.


electric trains or diesel run ones? and it’s a container vessel and not a tanker. and the yankee-twats won’t like it one bit since they can’t close the nsts corridor as easily as the suez canal. it’s all a matter of control and the yankee-twats are pissed off with china’s silk road project since it leaves them solidly in second place.


Nothing can compete with the Suez-CANAL it is to expensive land road transport and sometimes logistically impossible due to the weight. Ships can carry heavy stuff. Large trains can carry also good amount but I don’t think Iran has railroad link with Azerbaijan it has to be trucked


They can recconnect them as before,no big deal compared to the carnage in the canal the other days,all in all short n sweet is best,screw the cia and their diplomatic retards:


Rohani admin is hard at work to insult the Chinese so maybe they can break the deal? From petty insults like breaking protocol for a photo standing (recent meeting Zarif and Yi) to sending someone with a much lower ranking (like a director from the ministry of foreign affairs) to receive president Xi at the airport and now this, right after signing the deal with China.
Good thing that decision makers put someone else in charge of the deal, not Zarif and the Chinese know these traitors are gone in a couple of months, hopefully forever. They told us a couple years ago that Iran is not serious about BRI and they are forced to look for alternatives.

You have to understand, while the idea is fantastic, the trade between Russia and India is negligible (Russia’s export to India is <$6bn and its import from India is ~$3.5. Compare that with its trade with China) which by no means can justify the expense of completing the corridor. But the existence of corridor is a very good idea for global trade, not just India and the idea is not new. The same admin that suddenly had this bright idea is the same admin which stopped all works on this corridor in the last 8 years.

This admin did the same with every country which could be am important (and convenient) trade partner for Iran and a sanction buster. They created rifts with our every single neighbour (aside from Saudi/Emirati/Bahrain who don't need any help) to a point we have almost no trade with our neighbours, aside from Iraq by selling them some gas and electricity which we don't receive any payment in return (they owe us close to $6bn).

To give you an example, when 4 countries boycotted Qatar, Qataris requested Iran to export everything we can for them, We could supply all their needs. What our administration did was to immediately put a long list of regulations for exporters. The result was just export of one or two container of vegetables and fruits a day.
Another example was when Russia decided to stop imports from Turkey following their plane shoot down, they proposed the same to Iran to replace Turkey. A similar thing happened and we ended up exporting nothing.
Although they are careful to export certain things when there's a shortage of that certain thing (like tomatoes when a sudden cold ruins the harvest and there's a temporarily shortage, they lift all regulations for exporting tomato. Instead when there's a surplus of a product, like right now we have 10 times our domestic needs of apples, they ban exporting it. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of apple is going to be wasted and the farmers ruined. The amount is much more than our capacity to process them into cedar or dry them (we used to export apples for topical fruits, that's why there's so much apples). And it's not just apples. Tens of thousands of factories are closed now because of the insane bureaucracy he introduced and the free reign he gave to the banks to confiscate factories which against the law (the usual way is the factory got a loan in foreign currencies, the Rial nose-dived, now the actual amount the factory has to pay is 10 times more than it received). Tens of thousands of factories and workshops went bankrupt, closed or taken.

You may ask why the parliament didn’t impeach him? Well, the 2 last parliament was full of their cronies. This parliament decided to contain him as much as they can because it’s too expensive politically to remove him in the last months of his terms. Parliament and the head of judiciary worked tirelessly to reopen the closed factories, they started from the largest ones and made a task force for the workshops too, about 20.000 re-opened since last year and counting.

Nothing is more dangerous than a well entrenched fifth column for a country. If it wasn’t for them, no amount of sanction could dent our economy.


Maybe the BRI needs a little competition, the intent is to reach the west by creating a network of logistics and transportation systems from east to west, another trade avenue-linking north and south within Eurasia is not a bad idea. India and China are not necessarily on the same page given their territorial disputes and the fact that US is pressuring India to become a hard core ally like Japan or S.Korea, I don’t see that happening. India having steady supplies of oil and other natural resources despite market disruptions would enable India to retain its non aligned status. Iran can host the BRI and this north south corridor IMHO.


Wow … you’re really an Iranian

Good for you … the vile Mullah Police State is doomed


by doing this agreement with China, the Iranian focus will be on the dismantling of the regional US toady. Never underestimate Iran’s resolve in this regard. Bahrain/ Sawdi/ turkey/ Azerbaijan/ Israel….all low hanging fruit no?….lol. Just watch what Iran does soon. We got 5 in da bag……..5 more to go no?… It’s the only way to be sure.


5 in the bag? lol

5 proxy armies ?

5 failed states?

Israel isn’t going anywhere … they’re aggressive … they’re confident …. they’re a military superpower … hello?

Conquering Iran isn’t the objective …. the Iranian People aren’t the enemy … the Mullah Police State is the enemy … eh? BUT … like fascist Germany … the German People have suffered / are suffering / will suffer for the deeds of their leadership’s actions …. there’s no sugar coating it … eh?

Let’s get ready to rumble … no Bomb shelters to hide in? TFB


lol…..come on brah, stop joking no? One sustained missile barrage away from packing up. Iran has made the Zionist project nonviable. Remember, Iran’s laid a siege on Israel. Surrounded it from all sides. The noose is tightening. You’re living a Pretoria kinda existence and that means yous on borrowed time.


Iran has laid a siege on Israel ? lol

They don’t seem to be nervous …

They’re continuing in develop their anti-missile systems … they emerged well from the Pandemic and well on their way to economic recovery … putting their people back to work … their armed for forces are fully vaccinated … eh?

They have 50 F-35’s and loads of newer F-15’s …

I’d say the Iranians and their allies will rue the day they cross the Jews / Zionists / Israelis

The paper tiger is all bluster … eh?


We’ve seen every thang in the SyRaq that needed to be seen, and Iran ain’t impressed at all. The homeboyz in Kandla port will happily receive Iranian cargo and send theirs to Russia when the time comes.

Cray Brand

Hey Garga, your posts are always filled with knowledge. I didn’t know about the Zarif breaking protocol story, is this covered by any media inside Iran? Also how did he do it? I looked at Press TV but couldn’t find any news about it. Thanks.


Thank you, you’re too kind.

No, it wasn’t covered. Part of protocol dictates that after a Foreign minister enters the building of the ministry of foreign affairs, our FM receives him/her at the entrance, then they pose for official photo. They have to stand on the carpet with the same distance from the center and the flag of respective countries. Notice how Zarif pushed Yi to the corner of the carpet and in front of China’s flag. It’s not resprctful.

Some media like Farsnews published pics both wide (visible) and close angle, almost all of Reformist media used the close angle.

See for yourself and compare with photos of him and FMs from European countries, notice where they stand:comment image

Compared to Germany’s FM:comment image

France:comment image?ts=1486462047399

UK:comment image

Cray Brand

Thanks, now I get it! I think Zarif and his reformist ilk have got some sort of inferiority complex when it comes to Europeans. In the last photo, Zarif is even pushed to the edge of the carpet by the British moron in the suit lol.

Tommy Jensen

Got confirmed my impression. Rouhani and Zarif stinks of liberal Obama Democrat. Both with US and Israeli passport, triple citizens and children educated in US.
They say Rouhani arranged the murder of Soleimani in a deal with West.
I liked Ahmadinejad but it seemed he was squeezed out to get the nuclear deal with West. Hopefully the next one will be more up to Khamenei standard.
Thanks for an informative contribution.


I don’t know about Rohani’s deal for assassination, the rest I agree with you.
But Ahmadinejad was president 2 consecutive terms and couldn’t become one a third time in a row. He can enter now but it seems his priorities shifted and he says strange things. I think he is being groomed to become an opposition for the IR as the current alternatives or the IR (monarchists with a king-to-be who repeatedly says he doesn’t want to be king, MeK with their bloody history! old communists and other useless hacks) are a bunch of lying, whining thieves and murderers with no viable leader and western intel finally noticed they can’t be counted on, they say anything for a few bucks but can’t influence and gather even 1000 people inside Iran combined (they tried several times, believe me!). Ahmadinejad can fix that, he’s been moving away from the IR for some years now.

I too share the same hope for the next one.

Sol Invictus

I prefer this map.comment image