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Iran inaugurates new extension to its main Arabian Sea port

05 December 2017

Apart from the rise in maritime trade, the port's strategic location gives India access to two overland trade routes: The Trilateral Transport and Transit Corridor (TTTC), which heads north through Afghanistan, and onward into Central Asia, and the North-South Transport Corridor, which uses Iranian infrastructure to pass into Azerbaijan, and through it to Russian Federation and Europe.

Rouhani inaugurated the expansion, carried out with an investment of $1bn including $235mn from India, which has more than tripled the port's capacity to 8.5 million tonnes a year, state television reported.

Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Iran Dr. Abbas Ahmed Akhoundi, Minister of Commerce and Industries of Afghanistan Humayoon Rasaw and Minister of State for Shipping of India P Radhakrishnan led the respective delegations.

The MEA said the meeting also commended the transit of first tranche of 1,10,000 tonnes of wheat from India to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port.

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■ The Chabahar port will be beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea. The development of Chabahar Port is a driving force for the country's economic development, especially the South East, and port operations can create added value and employment in the south-east of Iran.

As per Iran media reports, Iran's ambassador to Pakistan, Mehdi Honerdoost stated that Pakistan and China had both been invited to contribute to the project before India, but neither China nor Pakistan had expressed interest in joining.

The inauguration comes at a time when Pakistan is blocking access between India and Afghanistan.

India has prepared massive investment plans, which will include a network of roads and railways at a cost of United States dollars 15 billion, as part of its strategic push in the area.

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"We should go after positive competition". Chabahar also has an global airport and Iran's Navy and Air Force have bases in the city, adding to the ports value. Iranian Parliament or Majlis recently ratified the trilateral trade agreement signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Rouhani and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in May 2016.

Chabahar is Iran's only oceanic port town and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti. "It is expected that a trilateral coordination meeting of senior officials will be convened at the earliest".

The project was officially opened in a ceremony attended by 60 foreign guests from 17 countries at the port located by the Sea of Oman.

Giving a boost to the bilateral ties between India and Iran, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has made an unannounced visit to Tehran, while returning from Sochi in Russian Federation, ahead of the inauguration of the strategically important port.

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Iran inaugurates new extension to its main Arabian Sea port