Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

  • Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

"Chabahar will turn into the biggest port of the country in the future and would be of considerable significance both politically and economically".

He emphasised that the project was specifically important, given that it connects the trade corridors that pass through Iran to the sea route.

However, downplaying the rivalry during the inauguration, Rouhani said, "This port is also significant from the political point of view given that it connects Iran with its eastern and northern neighbors and at a later stage to European states".

The project in Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by 60 foreign guests from 17 countries at the port located by the Sea of Oman, official IRNA news agency said.

Swaraj met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif and discussed about the Chabahar port project among other issues of mutual intrest. In October, India sent a first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar.

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. India has been closely working with Afghanistan to create alternative, reliable access routes, bypassing Pakistan.

India, Iran and Afghanistan have signed an agreement to grant preferential treatment and tariff reductions at Chabahar to Indian goods headed toward Central Asia and Afghanistan. Iran was led by the minister of roads and urban development Abbas Ahmed Akhoundi while Afghanistan was led by minister of commerce and industries Humayoon Rasaw, the statement said.

Iran is planning to link the Chabahar port with a railway to the northeastern city of Mashhad to further facilitate trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia.

According to Managing Director of Ports and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad, with the opening of the port's Phase 1, close to 800 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs have been generated.

The port located on the coast of the Gulf of Oman in Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province has two docks.

Earlier a year ago, the Indian government committed to invest up to $500 million for the development of the Chabahar port and other roads and rail lines associated with it.

"The shipment of wheat is a landmark moment as it will pave the way for operationalization of the Chabahar port as an alternate, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan", the ministry of external affairs (MEA) had said in a statement.