Iran opens $1-billion extension at port rival to Gwadar

Kristopher Drake
December 4, 2017

The opening of the first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port (out of five phases defined for the project), which has tripled its capacity to 8.5 million tons (equal to that of all the northern ports of the country), will allow the docking of super-large container ships (between 100,000 DWT and 120,000 DWT) and increase India's connectivity with Afghanistan.

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

According to the Indian Foreign Ministry's website, Chabahar Port was scheduled to be inaugurated by Rouhani on Sunday at presence of Ministers from India, Afghanistan and the region. Chabahar provides India an easier land-sea route to Afghanistan.

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. The port is likely to ramp up trade between India, Afghanistan and Iran in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi for trade with the two countries.

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. The shipment is to be taken by trucks to Afghanistan from Chabahar. 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.

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.

Speaking on Sunday in Chabahar, Sistan and Baluchistan province, Dr Rouhani added: "This port has a special position and situation, which can shorten the North-South Corridor and connect it to the ocean".

"Reiterating the importance of Chabahar as a hub for regional economic connectivity and their commitment to work towards this objective, the Ministers commended the joint efforts of the three countries in the recent successful transit of wheat from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar", it said.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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