Iran Set to Develop Chabahar Port with or without India
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran plans to develop the southeastern port of Chabahar with or without the cooperation of India, the deputy head of Ports and Maritime Organization, Ali Jahandideh, announced on Saturday.
Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Jahandideh said that India has raised the issue of investment in Chabahar port for years but no deal has been signed yet.
He added that previously, a draft agreement on the Indian investment was drawn up by Iran and sent to New Delhi and now, the Iranian Foreign Ministry is pursuing the issue.
The Iranian official emphasized that the development of the port will be started even without India.
“Simultaneously, we are exploring domestic companies (for signing a deal) because we do not want to lose time for the development of the port,” he noted.
Back in May 2013, India had held discussions with Iran on the issue during a visit by Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
Chabahar is a port city on the east coast of the Sea of Oman. It is strategically crucial as it gives access route to Afghanistan. Chabahar port, which is surrounded by a free trade zone, is vital particularly since Pakistan does not allow transit facility from India to Afghanistan.