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Is a New Iran-Israel War Aimed at Sabotaging Major Infrastructure?

April 18, 2024 (EIRNS)—The current danger of a war breaking out between Iran and Israel appears to be aimed at sabotaging, among other things, a major initiative by Iran to finally build a rail network linking the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean, that would involved Iran, Iraq, Syria, Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, and other regional states.

In April 2023 Iranian Minister for Roads and Construction Mehrdad Bazerbash led an official delegation to Damascus, where he and Syrian ransport Minister Zuhair Khuzaym discussed ground, sea, and air transport projects in their talks. At the top of the agenda was to finally set into motion plans to interlink the three countries’ rail networks, which has been on the drawing boards since 2019.

The project would link Khomeini Port on the Persian Gulf in southwestern Iran, to the northern Syrian port of Latakia and requires linking the respective countries’ rail networks. The first link, begun in 2023, is the 32 km between Shalamcheh, Iran to Basra, Iraq, which requires de-mining the region, which has already progressed for 2 km in Iraq and 1.5 km in Iran. Also, a bridge construction over the Shatt al-Arab (Arvand River) is under way by Iranian companies.

Upon entering the existing Iraqi rail network, the route would proceed, through Baghdad, to al-Qa’im on the Iraqi-Syrian border, where a new link is planned to Syria’s Albu Kamal, then westward to the Syrian port of Latakia via Homs, where the line will split, south to Damascus and north to Latakia.

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