Iranian President inaugurates Chabahar port: Move bolsters Indian commerce and isolates Pakistan

The newly-built extension to Chabahar port opens up a strategic transit route from India to Afghanistan and Central Asia - bypassing rival Pakistan.More than tripling the capacity of the key Chabahar Port on the Gulf of Oman, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday inaugurated a newly-built extension - the first phase of the strategic southeastern port, which is expected to open a multi-modal trade corridor connecting India to Central Asia.

Iran's Chabahar Port has a strategic importance in the region, as it facilitates the delivery of goods to European and Central Asian states.

Reiterating the commitment to complete and operationalise the Port at the earliest, Radhakrishnan, along with Iranian Transport Minister Dr Abbas Akhoundi and Afghanistan Trade and Commerce Minister Humayoon Rasaw, reviewed and positively assessed the progress in the development of the Chabahar Port in the trilateral meeting.

The project in Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by 60 foreign guests from 17 countries at the port located by the Sea of Oman, official IRNA news agency said.

Located 645 km to the south of Zahedan, the provincial capital city, the only oceanic port of Iran will now link its Sistan and Baluchestan provinces to Central Asia and Afghanistan.

A month ago, India sent the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port, which Swaraj called a gift from Indians to Afghans.

The Indian government has committed $500 million to Chabahar, with the aim of joining an increasingly important transport corridor to resource-rich regional countries, according to Indian sources. The capacity of the port is 8.5 million tons. "We should go after positive competition, we welcome other ports in the region, we welcome Gwadar's development", he added.

Chabahar provides India with an easier land-sea route to Afghanistan.

Swaraj met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif held a meeting on Saturday in Tehran and discussed about the Chabahar port project among other issues.

"In designing this port, five piers will be put into operation and more than 200 hectares of new land will generate employment for the people of this province and also bring Iran closer to other countries", the president continued.

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