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Number Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Seven - 14 May 2024
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Seven - 14 May 2024 - Page 2

Iranian port to become regional transit hub

Tehran, New Delhi ink 10-year pact on Chabahar

Iran and India on Monday signed a long-term deal to operate the Shahid-Beheshti Port Terminal in Chabahar in the presence of their ministers, a major step to make the southeastern city a regional trade transit and connectivity hub.
The Indian delegation to Iran was led by Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, while Minister for Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash was present from the Iranian side.
During his visit to Tehran, Bazrpash and Sonowal oversaw the signing of a new 10-year contract between the Ports & Maritime Organization of Iran (PMO) and India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL).
Speaking on the sidelines of the signing ceremony, Bazrpash said Iran is a land of transit opportunities as the development of Chabahar port with access to rail and road routes can help India to access the market of Afghanistan, Central Asia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and even Russia.
Under the contract, IPGL will commit to further equipping and operating the port for the duration of the contract. At the end of the 10-year period, both sides would further extend their cooperation in Chabahar.
IPGL will invest approximately $120 million in equipping the port. India has also offered an IN credit window equivalent to $250 million, for mutually identified projects aimed at improving Chabahar-related infrastructure.Chabahar port is an Iran-India flagship project that serves as an important transit port for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, which are landlocked countries. India has been a key player in the development and operation of Chabahar port.
The Indian government has invested in the port’s infrastructure and has been involved in upgrading its facilities to make it a viable transit route for Indian goods bound for Afghanistan and Central Asia.
In August 2023, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit.
Both leaders discussed the pending long-term contract on Chabahar, and gave a clear political direction to finalize and
sign the deal.
Speaking at the meeting, Sonowal called this a “historic milestone” and stressed that it “symbolizes the enduring trust and deepening partnership between India and Iran.”
“Today, India and Iran have reached a historic milestone in their longstanding relationship, driven by the visionary ideals of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” championed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under PM Modi’s leadership, the momentous agreement that began on 23rd May 2016 is culminating today in a long-term contract, symbolizing the enduring trust and deepening partnership between India and Iran,” Sonowal said during his meeting with Bazrpash.
“Chabahar port is an India-Iran flagship project. Today, as we witness the signing of the long-term contract for operating the Shahid-Beheshti Port Terminal, I am confident that a firm, sustainable, and long-term roadmap for developing the port has been established,” he added.
In August 2022, Sonowal visited Chabahar port in Iran to review its work progress and handed over six mobile harbor cranes to Indian Ports Global Chabahar Free Trade Zone (IPGCFTZ) at the port then.
During his meeting, the Indian minister further underscored India’s vision of making the port an international hub of connectivity and how it has continued its outreach with regional countries to expand trade and transit through Chabahar port.
“We have continued our outreach to promote Chabahar Port and also facilitate transit. In 2022, India organized the “Chabahar Day” in Mumbai with a focus on fostering closer cooperation between our countries and the wider region to enhance inter-regional trade and economic connectivity,” he said.
Sonowal went on to say how this port is serving an important transit port with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries and how India has helped landlocked Afghanistan.
“Chabahar port is serving as an important transit port for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, which are landlocked countries. Afghanistan is passing through a difficult phase. Over the past few years, we have supplied 85,000 metric tons of wheat and 200 metric tons of pulses as humanitarian food assistance. We also sent 40,000 liters of pesticide Malathion to Afghanistan through Chabahar port,” said
Terming the recent visit of a high-level delegation from Afghanistan to Chabahar port as “positive,” the Indian minister underlined the need to facilitate trade for Afghanistan and help Afghan people to stand on their own feet.
Chabahar port, located in southeast Iran, is a key component of India’s connectivity initiatives, holds immense significance as it provides a viable and shorter route for trade between India, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Chabahar is a deep-water port located in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province. It is the closest Iranian port to India, and is located in the open sea, providing easy and secure access for large cargo ships.
During the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Iran in May 2016, a trilateral agreement to establish the International Transport and Transit Corridor (Chabahar Agreement) was signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.


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