India, Iran sign MoU for development of Chabahar Port
India and Iran have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of the strategically important Chabahar Port in Iran.
The MoU was signed by Minister for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and his Iranian counterpart Minister for Transport and Urban Development Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi in Tehran, Iran.
Key facts of MoU
- By signing of MoU Indian and Iranian commercial entities will be able to commence negotiations for finalization of a commercial contract.
- Under the contract, Indian firms will lease two existing berths at the Chabahar Port and operationalize them as container and multi-purpose cargo terminals.
Importance of Chabahar Port
- The port is strategically located in Sistan-Balochistan Province on Iran’s southeastern coast. It will act as strategic utility for India.
- It will also help India to save transportation costs as it will be used to ship crude oil and urea.
- India will get sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
- Thus it will open opportunities for Indian companies to explore Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, believed to be worth $1-3 trillion, for mutual benefit.
- The availability of functional container and cargo terminal at the port will provide Afghanistan’s garland road network system alternate access to a sea port.
- It will also enhance Afghanistan’s overall connectivity to regional and global markets significantly. Thus provide a fillip to the ongoing reconstruction and humanitarian efforts in the country.