Chabahar port, made by India, inaugurated in Iran

04 December, 2017, 01:08 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday inaugurated the first phase of Chabahar port, located on southern Iran.

India has committed $500 million to the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman which is Iran's closest to the Indian Ocean and would allow it to bypass rival Pakistan.

In October, India sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar, located about 140 kilometres (88 miles) from Pakistan's Gwadar port, which is being developed with Chinese help.

27 delegates from India, Afghanistan and other Asian countries attended the inaugural ceremony of the port.

Thus, India regards the port as a strategic response to China's development of the Gwadar Port, and its pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Swaraj said India remains committed to working closely with its regional and global partners to restore peace, security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan.

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

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The expansion, with $235 investment from India, has boosted the port's capacity from 2.5 million to 8.5 million tons a year.

Chabahar provides India with an easier land-sea route to Afghanistan.

The three sides also commended the recent joint efforts that led to the transit of first tranche of 110,000 tons of wheat from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port.

According to the Indian foreign ministry, minister of state for shipping Pon Radhakrishnan represented India at the inauguration of the first phase of the Chabahar port project, known as the Shahid Beheshti port.

He also said that the operation of this port is very important for Sistan and Baluchistan province, adding: "Connecting the nationwide railway to Chabahar can also create an even better condition for this region".

The port will increase the capacity of loading and unloading of ships as well as the employment rate in the province, according to an official with the Sistan and Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organisation.

A day earlier, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif in Tehran to review the implementation of the Chabahar Port, the Indian media said.

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