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lakeelmoleader.com December 12, 2017


Iran Opens Extension Of Key Port

05 December 2017, 02:30 | Kara Nash

Chabahar port US says India a player in Afghan support transit options

Chabahar port US says India a player in Afghan support transit options

First of all, the new port will allow India to counter the blockade created by Pakistan. Nonetheless, experts agree that Chabahar is Iran's closest sea link to the Indian Ocean, a counterweight to Gwadar port, some 80 km away across the border in Pakistan. It is also key to accessing the Central Asian markets for Indian goods.

Iranian state TV said the inauguration was attended by dignitaries from India, Qatar, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries.

Iran has launched one of its major post-nuclear deal projects - the port of Chabahar - pushing further for engagement with the global community, days before the US Congress' expected decision on whether Washington will pull out of the landmark worldwide accord.

He emphasised that the project was specifically important, given that it connects the trade corridors that pass through Iran to the sea route. The port will eventually open a route to eastern and northern Europe through Russian Federation.

The port is being made with an investment of $1 billion, of which India has so far invested $235 million.

The port, located on the Gulf of Oman, is Iran's main Arabian seaport and holds strategic importance for trade in the region.

The extension, which includes five new ports, more than triples the capacity of the strategic port, bringing it to 8.5 million tons of cargo annually, from the previous 2.5 million. It can also accommodate 100,000-tonne ships, which India feels has strategic and economic potential as a rival to the Gwadar port. The cargo was sent from Kandla port in Gujarat in October this year.

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.

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Pakistan now does not allow India to transport goods through its territory to Afghanistan because of hostility in their ties. The Indian government has committed Dollars 500 million to Chabahar, with an aim to join an increasingly important transport corridor to resource-rich regional countries.

The first part of India's construction is scheduled to be finished in 2018.

"Chabahar should also have road, rail and airport to be all set for imports and exports", he added.

It said Radhakrishnan expressed his positive appreciation to the Iranian side on the recent steps taken towards ratification by the Majlis of Iran on the Trilateral Transit and Trade Agreement signed in May 2016 between India, Iran and Afghanistan.

India and Iran are the signatories to the port development project, the second pact was signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.

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.

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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