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Iran & India reach long-term agreement on Chabahar port’s development

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TEHRAN : Iran and India have reached a “final agreement” on the development of the southeastern Iranian port city of Chabahar, the official news agency IRNA reported on Monday.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash and Indian External Affairs Minister Shri S Jaishankar on Monday in Iran’s capital Tehran, the report said.

In May 2016, Iran, India and Afghanistan signed a trilateral transit agreement in Tehran to open new routes of connection by turning Chabahar into a transit hub.

Later, India agreed to install and operate modern loading and unloading equipment, including mobile harbor cranes, at Shahid Beheshti Terminalin Chabahar in accordance with a separate agreement with Iran.

According to Mehr news agency, the Indian side has been operating in Shahid Beheshti port under the terms of a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract. This is the first time that such a contract has been implemented in one of Iran’s ports with 100 percent foreign investment.

The new agreement is intended to replace the original contract, which only covers India’s operations at the Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar and is renewed every year. The new agreement will be valid for 10 years and will be automatically extended, India’s Economic Times reported.

On Monday, Mehrdad Bazrpash proposed to set up a joint transportation committee to strengthen bilateral cooperation, stressing that the committee’s establishment would help activate the two countries’ transit capacities and contribute to their use of the International North-South Transport Corridor, which connects South Asia and Northern Europe.

The Indian minister, for his part, voiced his country’s readiness to make new investments in the Iranian transportation and transit sectors and invited the Iranian minister to pay a visit to India.

Currently, the first phase of the Chabahar’s infrastructure development is now complete. Iran’s projects in the city include the development of the second phase of the Shahid Beheshti port and the delivery of strategic equipment to expand its cargo handling capacity, IRNA said

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