India Hopes to Make Iran’s Chabahar Port Operational by 2019
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – India is trying to make the strategic Chabahar port in southeastern Iran operational by 2019, a senior Indian official said.
India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the opening of the port will make the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States more accessible, The Hindu reported on Friday.
He was addressing the Indian community at an event at the South Asian country’s Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Thursday.
In 2016, India entered into a trilateral treaty with Iran and Afghanistan to develop a new transportation corridor connecting the three countries and other Central Asian Countries, bypassing Pakistan.
Gadkari’s comments come at a time when the work on the port is expected to be delayed due to the threat of sanctions against Tehran after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Chabahar provides India with an easier land-sea route to Afghanistan. In November, India sent its first cargo of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar in what appeared to be a run dry of a multi-modal connectivity route. The cargo was shipped from India’s western port of Kandla, unloaded at Chabahar and eventually taken to Afghanistan’s Nimroz province by trucks.
A rail link between Chabahar and Zahedan and thereon to Afghanistan is a crucial part of India’s ambitious extra-regional connectivity ambitions over which Tehran, New Delhi and Kabul have signed a basic agreement.