Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

Jerome Frank
Декабря 4, 2017

Iran has officially opened an extension of its southeastern port of Chabahar, which Tehran hopes will become a key transit hub for land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asia.

While the new extension opens up a strategic transit route from India to Afghanistan and Central Asia - bypassing Pakistan - the Iranian government has reportedly asked India to "manage" or operate the first phase of the port, till the work for the second phase is finalized.

A total of $1 billion is being invested in the first phase of the Chabahar development project, a joint worldwide project billed as an "International Gateway" by Iranian officials who have invested $403 million (up until now) from the National Development Fund of Iran in the project and gained the approval of India to invest $85 million to complete the project.

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

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The port was inaugurated in the presence of representatives from India, Afghanistan and several other countries of the region.

"In designing this port, five piers will be put into operation and more than 200 hectares of new land will generate employment for the people of this province and also bring Iran closer to other countries", the president continued.

Analysts say the Chabahar port could challenge Pakistan's Gwadar port, some 80 kilometers from Chabahar, which is being developed with Chinese investment.

Swaraj said India remains committed to working closely with its regional and worldwide partners to restore peace, security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan. "It was also chose to convene an expert level meeting of senior officials of the three countries at the earliest", the statement said.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks in Tehran with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday, discussing bilateral relations and other issues.

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