Iran, India sign 10-year deal to develop Chabahar Port

Iran and India have signed a 10-year contract for operation and equipment of the southern Iranian port city of Chabahar as part of plans to further boost their bilateral trade and economic relations.

The 10-year deal was signed by Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash and India’s Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday.

The two sides agreed on the partnership of the India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL) in equipping and operation of the freight and container terminals of Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar.

Under the agreement, Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) will hand over parts of the freight and container terminals of the Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar to India for 10 years while India invests $120 million for the supply of strategic equipment of the Port and $250 million on the transport infrastructure of Chabahar.

The parties are committed to fulfilling their obligations in facilitating transit along the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), developing shipping lines between the ports of the two countries and attracting container transit freights.

“Chabahar… can act as a focal point in the transit development of the region. We are pleased with this agreement and we have full confidence in India,” Bazrpash said.

“This agreement is a start for the further development of trade between the two countries, and India’s access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Europe through Chabahar Port will be facilitated,” he added.

Sonowal, for his part, praised the long-term contract as a symbol of “enduring trust and effective partnership” between India and Iran.

“Iran and India are seeking to develop Chabahar Port as much as possible, taking into account the interests of the two countries for joint access to regional markets,” the Indian minister said after signing the agreement.

“Chabahar Port’s significance transcends its role as a mere conduit between India and Iran; it serves as a vital trade artery connecting India with Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries,” he added. “This linkage has unlocked new avenues for trade and fortified supply chain resilience across the region.”

India agreed in 2016 to finance the development of the Iranian port but the process was stalled two years later due to the US sanctions reimposed after Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

India’s contribution to development projects in Chabahar is part of New Delhi’s policy to use Iranian transportation networks to ease its trade access to Afghanistan and landlocked countries in the Central Asia region.

India also views the development of Chabahar, which is Iran’s only ocean port, as a project that can rival China’s investment in Pakistan’s Gwadar region.


Source: PressTV