International News

Iran inaugurates first phase of Chabahar port

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday inaugurated the first phase of the country’s strategic Chahbahar Port, opening up a transit route between Iran, Afghanistan and India that bypasses Pakistan, Tolo News reported.
The first phase of the project, known as the Shahid Beheshti port, is being seen as a reinforcement of mutual and regional cooperation between Iran and India, according to the India Today.
Times of India reported that Tehran is believed to have asked the Indian government to ‘manage’ the first phase of the port until work for the second phase is finalised.
The Shahid Beheshti extension was inaugurated in the presence of dignitaries from India, Afghanistan, Qatar and Pakistan.
A day earlier, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with her Iranian counterpart, Javed Zarif, in Tehran to review the implementation of the Chabahar Port, India Today said.
India, Afghanistan, and Iran last year decided to jointly establish a trade route for land-locked Central Asian countries. India committed up to $500 million for the development of the Chahabar Port along with associated roads and rail lines.
The inking of the port deal had caused tensions between Tehran and Islamabad at the time. However, Iran has assured Pakistan that Chabahar is not being developed to rival Gwadar, which is itself currently being developed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Pakistan currently does not allow India to transport goods through its territory to Afghanistan because of hostility in their ties. Chabahar provides India an easier land-sea route to Afghanistan.