‘Sanctions exception for Chabahar an opportunity to develop transit’

November 10, 2018 - 20:29

TEHRAN- Chabahar Port’s exemption from the new round of the U.S. sanctions on Iran is an opportunity for development of transit via this port, Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) Head Mohammad Rastad told ILNA on Saturday.

The United States said on Tuesday it would grant a sanctions waiver for the Iranian-Indian port project at Chabahar (southeast of Iran).
This port’s exemption from the sanctions provides the opportunity for benefitting from the potentials and infrastructures of Chabahar which will definitely boost exports and imports, Rastad said, adding that it would be an achievement for the country’s economy.
The Indian operator will start its work in the port soon, the official announced.
On October 23, Iran, India and Afghanistan inked an agreement on transit of goods via Chabahar.  
The agreement was signed in Tehran by Rastad, T.S. Tirumurti, the secretary of economic relations in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and Imammohammad Warymoch, Afghanistan’s deputy minister of transport, during the first meeting of coordination council of agreement on the establishment of an international transport and transit corridor among Iran, India and Afghanistan (Chabahar Agreement).
These three countries signed a trilateral transit agreement in Tehran in May 2016, which allows them open new routes to connect among themselves via converting Chabahar Port into a transit hub bypassing Pakistan.
Accordingly, through Chabahar Port India can bypass Pakistan and transport goods to Afghanistan and Central Asia, while Afghanistan can get linked to India via sea.
The document was signed in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
At the time, Modi announced that New Delhi would be investing $500 million in the strategic port.
Then during the visit of the Iranian president to India in mid-February, the lease contract for Shahid Beheshti Port-Phase 1 of Chabahar was signed between Iran’s PMO and India’s Ports Global Limited (IPGL).
* Contracts worth $111m signed for logistic operation in Chabahar since March
* Logistic contracts worth $111m signed since March
Some investment contracts worth 4.67 trillion rials (about $111 million) have been singed on logistic operation in Chabahar since the beginning of current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2018), Sistan-Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Department’s Director General Behrouz Aghaei told IRNA on Saturday.
Chabahar Port plays a significant role in economic and trade activities of the region and provides an important and low-cost path for transit of commodities for the countries such as Afghanistan which has no access to the free waters, he noted.
Iran’s making investment of over $1 billion for the first development phase of Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar shows the significance of this port, the official underlined.
Aghaei had previously announced that five phases have been planned for development of Shahid Beheshti Port to boost its capacity from the current 8.5 million tons (which is capable of reaching 15 million tons) to 82-85 million tons.

PHOTO:  A container ship loading cargos at Shahid Beheshti Dock in Iran’s southeastern port of Chabahar (Photo by Mahnaz Abdi/Tehran Times)

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