Iran, Oman launch new shipping route
Iran has inaugurated a new shipping route to Oman – a move expected to help diversify the country’s access to international export markets.
The route that has been established between Iran’s Shahid Rajaee and the Omani port of Sohar was inaugurated on May 14 through a ceremony at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.
Iran’s media say two containers each with a collective capacity of 200 TEUs or twenty-foot equivalent units will be used to transport food items, agricultural products and perishable goods. The containers will start making trips between Shahid Rajaee and Sohar every 15 days in the initial phase but their trips could increase to once every week if the volume of trade in the route increases.
Iran and Oman in April signed an agreement to establish the new route during the visit to Tehran by a large Omani business delegation. The delegation was visiting the Iranian capital for talks on expanding trade and commercial cooperation between the two countries.
There are already speculations that Iran and Oman plan to use the route to promote trade across the region.
President Hassan Rouhani told reporters during a visit to Ashkhabad in early March that Iran and Turkmenistan are determined to activate a “south-to-north economic corridor” that starts with Oman, passes through Iran and leads to Uzbekistan through Turkmenistan.
What could further testify this plan are official comments that the newly-established Iran-Oman shipping route could be used to transit goods from Oman’s projected Duqum port to Iran’s Chabahar port which Iran plans to turn into a starting point for major exports to Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond through Indian investments.