Phase 1 of Shahid Beheshti Port Development Plan in Chabahar inaugurated

05 December, 2017, 02:27 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • First phase of strategic Chabahar port, party developed by India, inaugurated by Iranian President

According to the sources after Chabahar port, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the first phase of the Shahid Beheshti port in the Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the Shahid Beheshti Port's first phase in a ceremony that was attended by ministers, envoys and officials from 17 countries, including Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan. With Iran in the dock for its suspect nuclear programme and India keen to see its civil nuclear pact with the USA tied up (the agreement was finally signed in 2008), discussions on the port development went slow.

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.

Rouhani, however, downplayed the Pakistan angle in his inauguration speech and said the port will bring "more engagement and unity" among regional countries.

In May 2016, India, Iran and Afghanistan had inked a pact which entailed establishment of Transit and Transport Corridor among the three countries using Chabahar Port as one of the regional hubs for sea transportation in Iran, besides multi- modal transport of goods and passengers across the three nations.

Once two-thirds of this capacity is realised, five other jetties will be built to increase the capacity of the port to 82-85 million tonnes.

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The port, located on the Gulf of Oman, is Iran's main Arabian seaport and holds strategic importance for trade in the region.

India, Afghanistan and Iran have been working together and constantly to create an alternate and reliable trade access bypassing Pakistan.

The first part of India's construction is scheduled to be finished in 2018. The shipment is to be taken by trucks to Afghanistan from Chabahar.

He said Iran also plans to link the port to the country's railroad network to facilitate transit of goods to neighboring landlocked Central Asian countries, as well as open a route to eastern and northern Europe through Russian Federation.

Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said investments worth 40 trillion rials ($1 billion) are needed to connect Chabahar to Iran's national railroad. This also means that Afghanistan will not need to be dependent on Pakistan's Karachi port alone for sending its goods out to global markets. In 2015, it was announced that the Gwadar port city and port would be further developed under CPEC at a cost of $1.62 billion, with the aim of linking northern Pakistan and western China to the deep-water seaport.

"Chabahar should also have road, rail and airport to be all set for imports and exports", he added.

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