Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on 3 December 2017 inaugurated the first phase of the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman. Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Shipping, represented India at the inauguration ceremony of the Phase 1 of the Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar.
Chabahar port is the new strategic route that connects Iran, India and Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan. The port in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the southern coast of Iran is easily accessible from India's western coast.
The port is being considered as a gateway for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries besides ramping up trade among these three countries.
The Chabahar port is seen as a response to Pakistan's Gwadar Port, which is being developed with Chinese investment and is located at distance of around 80 kms from Chabahar.
India sends first shipment to Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port
India's role in development of Chabahar port
• India has been closely working with Afghanistan and Iran to create alternative, reliable access routes for trade.
• India and Iran on 23 May 2016 signed 12 memorandum of understandings and agreements, among which the most important one was the trilateral transit agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor.
• Under the agreement, India offered to develop the Port of Chabahar in Iran in order to allow Indian goods to be exported to Iran.
• As per the MoU, India will operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of USD 85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of USD 22.95 million on a 10-year lease.
• Earlier in October 2017, India had sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan by sea through the Chabahar port, marking opening of the new transit route.
India, Iran and Afghanistan signed agreement on Trilateral Transit and Transport Corridor
When: 3 December 2017