Iraq and Iran have agreed to mount a joint operation to clear mines at their border after the fasting month of Ramadan to pave the way for a project to build a cross-border rail link, Iraq’s media reported on Friday. 

The rail will link the Southern Iraqi Basra city with Iran through the border Shalamija outlet near Shatt Al-Arab waterway, Aliqtisad News and other publications said. 

Iraqi Transport Minister Razzaq Muhaibis and his Iranian counterpart agreed to launch the project after the current Ramadan month during talks in Tehran on Wednesday, they said. 

The project also comprises a  moveable  bridge over Shatt Al-Arab, according to the report, which said this project would be completed within 18 months. 

“The talks in Tehran also covered designs for the two projects and the needed investments,” the report said. 

In 2020, Baghdad said that the Iraqi part of the rail project could cost nearly $150 million. Iran will execute its own part of the rail linking its Khorramshahr city with Shalamija. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)