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First train from China arrives in Teheran

The first train connecting China and Iran has arrived in Teheran. It’s delivered dozens of containers filled with products delivered from the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.

The 14-day trip covers some 9,500 kilometers through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

The monthly train delivery cuts around 30-days off ocean deliveries from Shanghai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.

The train set off from Zhejiang just days after sanctions against Teheran were lifted following the completion of its nuclear accord, and just a month after a visit to Teheran by President Xi Jinping.

During his time there, President Xi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani laid out a goal of forging economic ties worth $600 billion a year in the next 10 years.

More than one-third of Iran’s foreign trade is with China.

China is Tehran’s top customer for oil exports.

The creation of the rail service between China and Iran is part of the Chinese government’s long-term “Silk Road” economic initiative.