Iran Opens Chabahar Port: Pak Isolated, Indian Commerce To Get Big Boost

05 December, 2017, 02:28 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Chabahar port US says India a player in Afghan support transit options

After the ceremony, the President was briefed by the authorities in the construction process of the complex. What's heartening is that Iran, which is the key gateway in the project, has asked the Indian government to manage or operate the first phase of the port, until work for the second phase is finalised.

Currently, 100,000-ton ships are capable of mooring, and this can play a significant role in the import and export of basic goods.

■ With Chabahar port being developed and operated by India, it could be used as a point from where humanitarian operations could be coordinated, should the need arise. "We welcome other ports in the region, we welcome Gwadar's development", he said.

First of all, the new port will allow India to counter the blockade created by Pakistan. India will also help build a $1.6 billion rail line to Zahedan in Iran, which will eventually connect with Mashad in north and provide access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan through the Bafq-Mashad route. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Iran in 2016, and the signing of a $500-million deal for the development of the Chabahar port brought in fresh impetuous.

The port's inauguration comes more than a month after the first consignment of wheat from India to Afghanistan was sent via Chabahar.

It is also expected to make Chabahar, Iran's closest sea link to the Indian Ocean, a rival to Gwadar Port, some 80 kilometers away (50 miles) across the border in Pakistan, which Pakistan has been building with Chinese investment.

Once the project is complete, Chabahar will be linked with the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), which now stretches from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the Gulf to Russia, Eurasia and Europe.

Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Iran Dr. Abbas Ahmed Akhoundi, Minister of Commerce and Industries of Afghanistan Humayoon Rasaw and Minister of State for Shipping of India P Radhakrishnan led the respective delegations. "It was also made a decision to convene an expert-level meeting of senior officials of the three countries at the earliest", the joint statement said. Both the port development pact and the connectivity agreement were signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Tehran in May previous year.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the port would reinforce mutual and regional cooperation between Iran and India.

Giving a boost to bilateral ties between India and Iran, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made an unannounced visit to Tehran, while returning from Sochi in Russian Federation, ahead of the inauguration of the strategically important port.


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