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Iran Inaugurates New Extension to its Main Port of Strategic Importance

05 December, 2017, 02:25 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurates Chabahar Port developed by India

Secondly, with India's ever increasing demand for natural gas and crude oil, the port could be a door for the country to import both resources from Iran and Central Asia.

After the ceremony, the President was briefed by the authorities in the construction process of the complex.

With Phase 1 of the Chabahar port having been inaugurated today, India, Iran and Afghanistan announced several steps for full operationalisation of the port. India's state-owned IRCON has agreed to build a rail route at a cost of $1.6 billion as part of the transit corridor to Afghanistan.

In late October, the US Treasury Department added major IRGC-linked companies such as the port construction and operation companies Tidewater Middle East Co and Iran Marine Industrial Company to its SDN list.

The nation anticipates that it will become a key transit route to land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asia and enable more Indian commodities to be exported to Russian Federation.

Asked how China views the launch of the project, considering that China is investing heavily in Gwadar as part of the United States dollars 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to comment on it directly.

While India has been fully devoted to getting its ambitious Chabahar project, Pakistan has left no stone unturned up the game with its investment and alliance with China on Gwadar Port (China Pak Economic Corridor).

With the very big investment, a full-fledged operation of the port is likely to ramp up trade between India Iran and Afghanistan and give it a strong entry into the central Asian markets.

It was inaugurated in the presence of dignitaries from India, Afghanistan, Qatar and Pakistan. Chabahar also has an worldwide airport and Iran's Navy and Air Force have bases in the city, adding to the ports value.

Rouhani also underlined the importance of Chabahar as Iran's only port outside the Gulf, and therefore outside an area that is often the locus of tensions with the US Navy and Iran's regional rivals. "It was also chose to convene an expert-level meeting of senior officials of the three countries at the earliest", the joint statement said. Through the joint collaboration, the first tranche of 110000 tonnes of wheat has already reached Afghanistan through Chabahar Port about a month ago.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the port would reinforce mutual and regional cooperation between Iran and India.

The port will increase the capacity of loading and unloading of ships as well as the employment rate in the province, according to an official with the Sistan and Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organisation.

Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif in Tehran a day before the inauguration and discussed the implementation of the Chabahar port project along with other issues.

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