Iran, India Upbeat with Chabahar Port Inauguration

Comment: Gwadar port comprehensively outflanks sister Chabahar

Iran, India Upbeat with Chabahar Port Inauguration

The project, due to its strategic location, linking the region to Central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), will revive the far southeaster areas of Iran in terms of development and employment. It is also key to accessing the Central Asian markets for Indian goods.

The inauguration of the first phase of the port, known as the Shahid Beheshti port, is likely to be attended by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Minister of State for Finance and Shipping R. Ponniah Ayyappan Radhakrishnan.

The port's inauguration comes more than a month after the first consignment of wheat from India to Afghanistan was sent via Chabahar - the first shipment after the trilateral agreement to develop the port as a transport and transit corridor between India, Iran, and Afghanistan was signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Iranian and Afghan Presidents Rouhani and Ashraf Ghani, respectively, in May 2016.

(Dunya News)- Iran's Chabahar port lacks potential to progress in absence of technical and economic succour from its "sister Gwadar port" and the former can not culminate to the level of the latter without shared interests.

With the opening of the port, Indian goods are now anticipated to reach Central Asian markets.

The port in Iran's Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich nation's southern coast is easily accessible from India's western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar port, which is being developed with Chinese investment and is located around 80 kms from Chabahar. No wonder then, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, committed an investment of Dollars 500 million for the development of Chabahar. On a deal between Iran and six major world powers restricting Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for lifting sanctions, Trump had commented that it was "the worst deal ever negotiated". "We welcome the development of friendly relations between the regional countries and conduct mutually beneficial cooperation", he said.

Once the project is complete, Chabahar will be linked with the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), which now stretches from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the Gulf to Russia, Eurasia and Europe.

In that sense, Chabahar diminishes Pakistan's strategic stranglehold over Afghanistan. That may hurt the Chabahar project.

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