Construction of a navigable channel linking the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf is underway. It is expected the project will be completed in the 2020s.
The project is particularly interesting for Russia due to the cold spell with Turkey, but European and post-Soviet states will also benefit from it.
But it seems the US is worried about this alternative to the Suez Channel.
"The West and Turkey have directly or indirectly tried to block the waterway [from being created]. As a matter of fact, the United States imposed sanctions" on companies that have been involved in the project, economic analyst Alexei Chickin wrote.