India, Iran and Uzbekistan discuss on Joint use of Chabahar port

On December 14, 2021 India, Iran and Uzbekistan held talks on joint use of the Chabahar Port. They also underlined the importance role played by the port in enhancing regional connectivity.

Key Points

  • During the meeting, the three countries discussed further development of transportation corridor across the port.
  • It was the second such virtual meeting among them on developing the strategically important port.
  • Participating countries also highlighted the increase in transit traffic between South Asia and Central Asia through the Shahid Behesti Terminal at Chabahar Port. They also discussed the development of transportation corridor.

How this post is strategically important?

The Shahid Beheshti Terminal at Chabahar Port is strategically important as it has handled shipments and trans-shipments from countries like Russia, Brazil, Germany, Thailand, Oman, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Romania, Kuwait, Australia, Kuwait, UAE and Uzbekistan.

Chabahar Port

Chabahar seaport is in Chabahar located in Iran, on the Gulf of Oman. The port serves as the only oceanic port of Iran. It comprises of two separate ports namely, Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti. Each of the ports have five berths. It is located at around 170 kilometres west of Gwadar port in Pakistan.

Background

Last Shah of Iran had put forward the proposal for developing this port was in 1973. Development was delayed due to 1979 Iranian Revolution. First phase of the port was opened in 1983 during Iran–Iraq War.

India-Iran agreement on Chabahar Port

India and Iran had first agreed on plans to further develop Shahid Beheshti port in the 2003. However, this agreement could not be worked upon due to sanctions against Iran. Both the countries signed a bilateral agreement in May 2016, under which India would refurbish one of the berths at Shahid Beheshti port as well as reconstruct a 600-meter-long container handling facility there.  India is keen to develop this port because it will provide India an alternative route for trade between India and Afghanistan. India’s first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan was sent in October 2017, through the Chabahar Port. Finally in December 2018, India took over the operations of Chabahar port.

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