Iran’s Chabahar port exports cargo to India and Southeast Asia, notwithstanding slowdown

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NEW DELHI: Iran‘s Chabahar Port built with India’s support has recently witnessed cargo movement to South Asia and SE Asia notwithstanding slowdown in the global trade due to Covid.

The first shipment of Iran’s aquatic products has been shipped to Thailand via Chabahar Port recently, ET has learnt.

Director General of Sistan and Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organization, Behrouz Aghaei has said that the first ship carrying Iran’s aquatic products left the Southeastern Iranian port of Chabahar for Thailand for the first time.

Aghaei informed that the shipment of non-edible fishes was sent to the Indian port of Mundra via Chabahar.

Aghaei further informed that the forth shipment of Afghanistan’s transit goods has been shipped to India through Shahid Beheshti terminal in Chabahar Port.

In 2016, Iran, India, and Afghanistan decided to jointly establish a trade route for land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.

India had also sent a consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port in the past.

Later on, in February 2019, the Afghanistan-Iran-India trade corridor for the trade between the two countries through Chabahar Port was officially inaugurated.

On July 25 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson had tweeted, “#Iran has a longstanding policy of maintaining balanced, friendly relations w/ all Eurasian & E/S Asian powers. Our potential longterm cooperation agreements w/ #China & #Russia, & our continued joint work w/ #India in Chabahar prove this. We are determined to uphold this policy”.

This came amid firefighting by India and Iran over the past two weeks over Delhi’s participation in the proposed Chabahar-Zahedan railway project. India’s problem with Iran has been its insistence to give Chahbahar-Zahedan railway contract to Khatam al-Anbiya, a Revolutionary Guard entity, under US secondary sanctions. However, both sides remain committed to Chabahar Port project.

A lease contract for two terminals and five berths at the Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar was signed in 2016 between Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation (PMO) and Indian Ports Global Limited (IPGL). The Phase-I of the Shahid Beheshti Port was inaugurated in December 2017 by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The Chabahar Port was operationalised from December 2018. Iran is planning to increase the capacity of the Chabahar Port from the current 2.5 million tonnes to 8.5 million tonnes.

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