Iran Opens Extension Of Key Port

05 December, 2017, 02:25 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Iran Opens Extension Of Key Port

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday inaugurated the first phase of Chabahar port that has been made by India.

"We are happy that the first wheat shipment for Afghanistan has been sent to the country's people via the Iranian port", he said.

It said that the first phase of the Chabahar port project is known as the Shahid Beheshti port.

Swaraj met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif held a meeting on Saturday in Tehran and discussed about the Chabahar port project among other issues.

Apart from the rise in maritime trade, the port's strategic location gives India access to two overland trade routes: The Trilateral Transport and Transit Corridor (TTTC), which heads north through Afghanistan, and onward into Central Asia, and the North-South Transport Corridor, which uses Iranian infrastructure to pass into Azerbaijan, and through it to Russian Federation and Europe.

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India, Iran and Afghanistan have signed MoU's that have committed nearly $21bn to Chabahar-Hajigak Corridor, including $85m for Chabahar port development by India, $150m line of credit by India to Iran. "We welcome other ports in the region, we welcome Gwadar's development".

Pakistan has banned India from transporting goods through its territory to Afghanistan.

The Indian government has committed $500 million to Chabahar, with the aim of joining an increasingly important transport corridor to resource-rich regional countries, according to Indian sources.

He said Iran also plans to link the port to the country's railroad network to facilitate transit of goods to neighboring landlocked Central Asian countries, as well as open a route to eastern and northern Europe through Russian Federation.

"We hope the relevant cooperation can be conducive to maintaining regional peace and promoting regional stability and prosperity", he said.

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Transit via Chabahar's Shahid Beheshti Port is $1,000 cheaper than ports of Pakistan and even 15 million rials ($375) cheaper than Shahid Rajaee Port, Iran's biggest container port at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, the director general of Ports and Maritime Organization of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Behrouz Aqaei, said.

India has prepared massive investment plans, which will include a network of roads and railways at a cost of Dollars 15 billion, as part of its strategic push in the area. And India's $2bn commitment to Afghanistan for developing supporting infrastructure including the Chabahar-Hajigaj railway line.

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. As per the reports, the Chabahar port pact allows the Afghanistan to import and export goods from markets like India after reducing its dependence on Pakistan's Karachi port.

A few months after the nuclear deal with Iran went into effect in January 2016 and sanctions were lifted, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the country where he agreed to open a $500m line of credit to develop the port - almost half of what Iran is planning to invest.

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