Iran asks Russia for $5 billion 

The Iranian parliament approved a decision to borrow $5 billion from Russia in a session on Sunday. 

According to MehrNews, the Iranian lawmakers voted for amendments to the budget law which would include Russian money on the list of state revenue sources for the coming financial year, which will begin on 21 March (the year 1398 according to the Persian calendar). 

The funds will be allocated to infrastructural projects, including nuclear energy, electrical energy, railway transport, as well as the construction of a dam, irrigation networks and water pipelines. 

Voting took place 4 days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Sochi, Russia, on an official visit. After negotiations with Vladimir Putin, Rouhani said that bilateral relations between Moscow and Tehran are “good and developing” and progressing “to the strategic level”. 

The construction of Iran’s Sirik thermal power plant and the electrification of the Garmsar-Ince Burun railway line are being done through Russian export credits, said Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who was also present at the meeting. 

At the same time, he added that there are significant reserves for expanding bilateral cooperation. These include the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, which is being built by Rosatom, and the North-South international transport corridor, which was conceived of by Russian officials as an alternative to the Suez Canal – from the Indian port of Mumbai to St. Petersburg, and from there to Europe. 

In order to realize this project, Tehran needs €3 billion in Russian investments, Iranian Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami said at the end of November after traveling to Moscow for the international “Transport of Russia” forum. 

Iran also hopes to obtain Russian investments in major infrastructural projects in the area of railway transport and that Russia will help build a railway line for the Resht-Astara route, Eslami noted.

  Iran, Russia, Rouhani, Putin, Sochi, Tehran, Petersburg