A somewhat pessimistic view…
Iran-Afghanistan railway ‘on agenda’
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tuesday that the construction of a railway between the Iranian city of Khaf and the Afghan city of Herat was being discussed, according to the Tehran-based Press TV.
Tehran faces many difficulties in extending this railway farther than Herat, said Zhou Rong, an Islamabad-based researcher on Central and South Asian issues.
“Afghanistan is still at war, and if this railway is extended to Tajikistan, it must run through the Pashtun areas controlled by the anti-Iran Taliban,” Zhou said. “The security costs would be very high.”
It’s no more than a “political will” to build a railway to link Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Zhou said, adding that the idea is “not viable, economically or technically.”
Source: Global Times, 2010-11-17