India Inks 10-year Deal to Operate Iran's Chabahar Port

Published: May 14,2024 03:51 PM

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The Signing Of The Long Term Bilateral Contract On Chabahar Port Operations In Presence Of Cabinet Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Iranian Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash.

14 May, 2024: India and Iran have taken a significant step forward in their relationship by signing a long-awaited 10-year contract for the operation of the Chabahar port. This agreement, formalized between Indian Ports Global Ltd. (IPGL) and Iran's Port and Maritime Organisation (PMO), marks a milestone in the partnership between the two nations. The Chabahar port, located in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province, holds immense strategic importance for India. It serves as a vital trade artery, connecting India not only with Iran but also with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. With this agreement, India aims to enhance trade, maritime cooperation, and transshipment, bolstering economic ties in the region. Under the terms of the agreement, IPGL will invest approximately $120 million to equip and develop the Shahid-Behesti terminal at the Chabahar port. Additionally, India has extended a credit window of $250 million for infrastructure projects related to Chabahar, demonstrating its commitment to the region's economic development.

The signing of this contract comes after years of negotiations and short-term leases, which were hindered by various challenges, including arbitration issues. However, both India and Iran have worked diligently to overcome these obstacles and reach a mutually beneficial solution. The agreement not only strengthens economic cooperation but also highlights the importance of connectivity in the region. India's External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, emphasized the significance of connectivity linkages facilitated by the Chabahar port, which will contribute to regional stability and prosperity.

Iran's Ambassador to India, Iraj Elahi, reiterated the positive impact of the agreement on bilateral relations, emphasizing that it would energize various sectors and reignite stalled projects. He also dismissed any conflicts between India-Iran cooperation on Chabahar and Iran's obligations to other countries, emphasizing the common interests shared by India and Iran.Since taking over the operations of the Chabahar port in 2018, IPGL has made significant strides, handling substantial container and cargo traffic. The port's integration with a special free zone further enhances its appeal, attracting trade and investment opportunities. Overall, the signing of the 10-year contract marks a new chapter in India-Iran relations, characterized by enhanced cooperation, economic growth, and regional connectivity. As both nations continue to strengthen their partnership, the Chabahar port is poised to play a pivotal role in fostering trade and development in the region.