Transport corridor "Persian Gulf - Black Sea": how it is dangerous for Russia


The Black Sea turns into an arena of confrontation between three former empires at once: the Ottoman, Russian and Persian. Tehran is now ready to join the struggle for transit flows from Asia to Europe between Ankara and Moscow.


Let us remind you that Russia is a key participant in the North-South international transport corridor project, which is supposed to connect India through Iran and the Caspian with the Baltic countries. This route is intended to become one of the alternatives to the popular waterway through the Suez Canal, which recently turned out to be unexpectedly clogged by a giant dry cargo ship. Turkey also plans to ride the so-called "Middle Corridor" on the way from China to Europe through the countries of Central Asia. The implementation of these plans of Ankara became possible after Azerbaijan, with its military assistance, defeated Yerevan in Nagorno-Karabakh and achieved the opening of a land corridor through the Armenian territory connecting the allied Turkic-speaking countries and giving the Turks access to the Caspian Sea.

Despite the fact that Iran is a full-fledged participant in the North-South project, Tehran has now stepped up its efforts to implement its own infrastructure project, which will bypass both Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. This initiative to connect the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea with a single transport corridor with further access to Europe was announced by the Iranian authorities back in 2017. What is it, and what are the real prospects for this "Persian Route"?

Initially, Tehran considered two options for transit through Transcaucasia: through Azerbaijan to the Black Sea coast of Georgia, or through Armenia also to Georgian ports. Russia was automatically excluded from this scheme due to political problems between Tbilisi and Moscow over the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, apparently, Iran has already ruled out the option of transit through Azerbaijan due to the close rapprochement between Baku and Ankara. Tehran's goal is to create an alternative to Turkey's infrastructure projects, rather than increase geopolitical dependence on it.

For this reason, the Islamic Republic relies not on Azerbaijan, but on Armenia as a transit country. For this, Yerevan must finally put into operation the North-South highway, which runs through the entire country and connects both its borders. Further, containerized cargo will go to the Georgian port of Poti on the Black Sea. From there the bulk carriers will go to Bulgaria, where Sofia has already given preliminary consent to make Burgas and Varna points of entry for the "Persian Route". Moreover, the authorities of this country are even ready to invest in the construction of special terminals. From the Bulgarian ports, a direct route to Greece and Italy opens for Chinese goods. In other words, Iran intends to become a major transit hub by gaining access to the markets of Southeast Europe. This became especially relevant after Beijing announced its readiness to invest $ 400 billion in the Islamic Republic over the next 25 years.

For our country, these are not very good news... The "Persian route" is more than two times shorter than the route through the Suez Canal, and the delivery of freight containers is significantly cheaper. The North-South project with the participation of Russia is being implemented too slowly, and therefore Tehran can also involve India, Oman and, in the future, even Iraq and Syria. A few days ago, a meeting of representatives of Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece and Georgia was held in the Iranian capital, as a result of which it was announced that the "Persian Gulf-Black Sea" transport corridor would be launched in the very near future. The head of the Iranian Infrastructure Ministry Amin Tarafo said:

Given his economic efficiency and safety, the launch of this corridor will accelerate Asian trade with Europe and create an even greater link of transit to regional and international trade between Iran, the South Caucasus countries and the Black Sea.

If Tehran succeeds, it will be a serious blow at the same time to the ambitions of both Russia and Turkey and Azerbaijan. The importance of our country on the Black Sea as a large logistics hub will sharply decrease, while the traffic flowing through the Azerbaijani and Turkish territories will also decrease. According to experts, it is simply faster, cheaper and safer for carriers. It is no secret that Iranian trucks and buses in transit periodically “accidentally” catch fire there. Tehran's stake on Armenia would help to somewhat strengthen its geopolitical positions, which were shaken after the military defeat.

However, things are not as simple as the Iranian authorities would like. Let's talk about the possible pitfalls.

At first, it should be borne in mind that there is no peace between Baku and Yerevan, but there is only a truce, which can be violated at any time. The issue of Nagorno-Karabakh has not yet been finally closed, and in the event of the start of the second round of the war over its remnants, the normal transit of cargo flows through the Armenian territory will obviously be closed or hampered.

Secondly, Tehran should not forget that all its other potential partners in this infrastructure project are "vassals" of the United States. These are Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy. It is enough to exclude any link from this logistic chain, and it will all crumble. And it is very simple to do this, it is enough to look at what is currently happening in Russia with the quite recently friendly Czech Republic. One provocation, of which the Iranian special services will be accused, is enough, and Tbilisi or Sofia will suspend cooperation with the Islamic Republic, despite the fact that this means a great lost profit for them. The example of South Stream, which Bulgaria actually buried to its own detriment, will not allow one to lie.

Most likely, Washington will first give the Iranians and Chinese the opportunity to invest in this infrastructure project, like Gazprom with its Nord Stream 2, and then it will start to put a spoke in its wheels, forcing it to constantly look for some options for solving problems and increasing costs investors.
Ad
We are open to cooperation with authors in the news and analytical departments. A prerequisite is the ability to quickly analyze the text and check the facts, to write concisely and interestingly on political and economic topics. We offer flexible working hours and regular payments. Please send your responses with examples of work to [email protected]
8 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) April 22 2021 14: 21
    +2
    If you look at the map, then a few extra overloads, and even on a car, not a railway, kill all the overload.
    How many trucks do you need to transport the cargo of a container ship through 3 tense countries, the hills of the Caucasus, and again to the ship, and again to the car ... etc.
    1. Petr Vladimirovich (Peter) April 22 2021 15: 36
      0
      Ever Given had 18 000 feet ... fellow
  2. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) April 22 2021 14: 28
    0
    Wah! In the Caucasus, the mountaineers will have something to profit from! Is it possible to guard caravans of cars with helicopters?
  3. zzdimk Offline zzdimk
    zzdimk April 22 2021 14: 38
    0
    Interesting to me:
    -algae how to survive the unification of these reservoirs
    -fish?
  4. Petr Vladimirovich (Peter) April 22 2021 15: 50
    0
    Iranian trucks and buses in transit, there periodically "accidentally" light up

    Dear Sergey (I don't know the middle name).
    How many Iranian trucks did you personally burn on the shoulder of Tehran-Samsun? When was the last time you were in Tehran on business? Istanbul?
  5. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
    Marzhecki (Sergei) April 23 2021 07: 12
    0
    Quote: Petr Vladimirovich
    Iranian trucks and buses in transit, there periodically "accidentally" light up

    Dear Sergey (I don't know the middle name).
    How many Iranian trucks did you personally burn on the shoulder of Tehran-Samsun? When was the last time you were in Tehran on business? Istanbul?

    Evgenyevich. Why are these distortions about "personally"? Should I write articles as a journalist only about my personal life experiences? Or am I allowed to use some sources of information available to me?
    How should all this be understood? Did you just decide to re ...?
    1. Petr Vladimirovich (Peter) April 23 2021 18: 16
      0
      Someone was personally somewhere, worked somewhere. Someone nowhere and never, but constantly trumpets the words of a lawyer-journalist.
      Compiles someone else's information from the Internet, puts it on a private website. He often cheats on opponents.
      The main thing is that everything in the house is normal ... I wish you, dear Sergey Evgenievich, success in this field of business and happiness in your personal life ...
      Sincerely yours, P.V.
  6. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
    Marzhecki (Sergei) 20 May 2021 14: 13
    +1
    Quote: Petr Vladimirovich
    Someone was personally somewhere, worked somewhere. Someone nowhere and never, but constantly trumpets the words of a lawyer-journalist.
    Compiles someone else's information from the Internet, puts it on a private website. He often cheats on opponents.

    Why don't I flaunt that I am both a lawyer and a journalist? I earned my two honors diplomas.
    What does it mean compiles someone else's info? All infa on the Internet is someone's, that is, someone else's. Read the definition of journalism first before judging such things. And I do not compile it, but analytically process it. I'm not a blogger to share my personal impressions here.
    And I, too, have been here and there and worked here and there, in the state and municipal service, before becoming a journalist. So leave your trump card in places of visit with you. You won't impress me with that.
    And about cheating, this is me only in response to someone else's rudeness. Watch yourself first.