Iran, India to expand transit co-op through Chabahar port

December 24, 2019 - 14:3

TEHRAN – Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami and Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met on Monday in Tehran to discuss expansion of transport and transit cooperation between the two countries, especially through Chabahar port.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, the Iranian minister noted that the development of economic cooperation between Iran and India has been followed in a variety of aspects and a number of new agreements have been reached, the most important of which were in transportation and transit with Chabahar in focus.

In the past few years, the development of Chabahar port has been pursued very seriously, so that trade activities in the port have more than tripled in the past two years, according to Eslami.

According to Eslami, Chabahar port has the capacity of transporting 11 million tons of goods, but currently only a small part [20-25 percent] of this capacity is being used.

The minister also noted that in his meeting with Jaishankar, the two sides have reached some new agreements, mostly in the transport and transit areas.

"At this meeting we discussed several issues with the Indian side and specialized committees were formed whose focus will be on expanding and increasing the transit capacity,” Eslami said.

Located at southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman, Chabahar is the home for Iran's only oceanic port.

Due to its strategic geographical positioning, Chabahar port holds a great significance for Iran both politically and economically.

After years of negotiation, Iran has awarded the development project of this port to India, and the South Asian country committed $500 million to build two new berths in this port.

However, after the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran in November, the future of many Iranian projects including Chabahar port was shadowed by the consequences of the sanctions.

But following several rounds of negotiations and discussions with New Delhi, the U.S. administration finally exempted the Chabahar project from the sanctions.  

EF/MA

Photo: Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami (R) and India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar discuss expansion of transport ties in Tehran on Monday.

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