Investigation of the Geopolitical and Geo-economic Competitions of Pakistan and Iran to Create South-North Corridor of Eurasia: Preferences and Threats

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor of Political Geography, Payame Noor University, Iran


The world has witnessed the transit routes between east and west that most relying on ocean routes. Hence, northern- southern communication has less been shaped by relying on land. This causes many problems, including increasing costs of transportation. Geo-economic views and needs of landlocked countries of the super continent of Eurasia and north and south communications of this continent have created the need for the development of the southern to the northern corridor. Iran route from Chabahar port to Central Asia and the Caucasus and then connect to Russia, and Pakistan route from Gwadar port to China's Xinjiang province and the continuance to periphery areas be the most important north-south corridor creation options. This research is intended to evaluate each of these corridors by the geopolitical and geo-economic views.
The research is basic in terms of its goal, and casual and descriptive- analytic in terms of method and nature. Data gathering procedure is based on library findings.   
Result and Discussion
Eurasia is the biggest continent in the world and Asia is the most important part of global economy that in era of global recession has remarkable growth. China, central Asia, Persian Gulf region, Indian subcontinent and the East Europe are the most important regions that need to inter commercial relations. So, this mega continent needs to construct south - north corridor to improve growth continuance. There are two possible routes for constructing of a southern - northern corridor in the heart of Eurasia as following: first, the route of Iran from Chabahar port and second the route of Pakistan from the origin of Gwadar port. The Chinese government support Pakistan for the construction of the southern - northern corridor from Gwadar to the province of Xinjiang and Russia and India support Iran for construction of the southern - northern corridor from Chabahar port to central Asia. China has extremely demand to energy and try to purpose energy security diversify energy transport routes by Pakistan corridor. Also, Chinese government tries to directly access to the Indian Ocean and oil rich region of Persian Gulf. Pakistan and Iran follow to earn transit fees and promote their infrastructures and improve the geopolitical and geo-economic position in the region and international system. India, historical rival of Pakistan, tries to open Iran corridor for accesses to central Asia and Afghanistan markets and inactive Pakistani corridor. Iran cannot use its geo-economic position to create south-north corridor which international sanctions is on hand. Signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the world powers P5+1 in July 2015, caused Iran to activate corridor signed a contract with Russia, Afghanistan and India. In this regard, India invests in Chabahar and China in Gwadar. 
Political instability and insecurity challenges in Pakistan route is the main obstacle to the corridor. Economically, the transfer of energy from corridor of Pakistan to Xinjiang province is not affordable and cannot secure energy demands of China. Because the main consumption markets of China located in east coast of China. Also, because of the length of the route access of central Asia countries to free seas through the Pakistan corridor does not seem optimal. But, Iran is an island of stability in the Middle East and West Asia and the shortest route to connect Central Asia Countries to the international waters. So, the results showed that the route of Iran corridor in terms of dimensions of the international security and economic has preferences in comparison with Pakistani corridor.


Volume 13, Issue 45
March 2017
Pages 101-124
  • Receive Date: 07 June 2016
  • Revise Date: 28 June 2016
  • Accept Date: 11 September 2016
  • First Publish Date: 21 March 2017