It "derailed after hitting an excavator" that was near the track, he added.

Five of the train's 11 coaches came off the track in the 5:30 am (0100 GMT) accident, emergency services said.

The train derailment comes after a tower block collapsed in southwestern Iran last month killing at least 43 people.

In 2016, two trains collided and caught fire in northern Iran, killing 44 people and injuring dozens.