India approves $150 million Chabahar port plan in Iran

Published: February 25, 2016
A partial view of the Kalantari port in city of Chabahar. PHOTO: AFP

A partial view of the Kalantari port in city of Chabahar. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: India approved a $150 million project to develop the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar, which includes a transit route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan, a government statement said on Wednesday.

New Delhi signed a multi-million-dollar memorandum of understanding with Tehran last May to develop the port on its southeastern coast, but the deal had been stuck since. The approval came at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Iran quashes talk of undermining Gwadar port

The statement said the project would “provide opportunities to Indian companies to penetrate and enhance its footprint in the region.”

“Cabinet approves provision of credit of $150 million USD to Islamic Republic of Iran for Chabahar port development,” the statement said. “India is negotiating this project to facilitate the growing trade and investment with Iran and other countries in the region, notably Afghanistan..,” it added.

The port’s location will also help it compete with China, which is investing heavily in Gwadar port in Balochistan, in the race to boost business interests in the region.

India to sign port deal with Iran, ignoring US warning against haste

Afghanistan’s chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, who was in New Delhi earlier this month, had hoped that the Chabahar port proposal would be approved soon.

“The development of Chabahar port in Iran is key to India-Afghanistan trade. It can act as a gateway towards opening new energy and trade routes not only in Afghanistan but in Central Asia as well,” Abdullah said at the time.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • jay
    Feb 25, 2016 - 1:09PM

    Good move Iran and India share a long mutually beneficial friendship.Recommend

  • Abbas
    Feb 25, 2016 - 1:58PM

    We are as a very wise Pakistani nation , we do every thing which benfit always other then ourself. Recommend

  • hari
    Feb 25, 2016 - 2:25PM

    Good, speed up the whole building process. We need to have an option opened soon to enter central Asia.Recommend

  • Waseem
    Feb 25, 2016 - 4:03PM

    Do not think there is any need to feel insecure about that.
    We already made a right decision not to trust India in the matter of transit trades, when chicken out from IPI gas pipelines under USA pressure.
    Playing our cards cleverly, and we get our share of the progressRecommend

  • Farru
    Feb 25, 2016 - 5:25PM

    Let’s compete. Chabahar vs Gwadar. This competition will benefit all Iran, Pakistan, India, China, Afghanistan and all Central Asian states.Recommend

  • PashtunZalmi
    Feb 25, 2016 - 5:32PM

    Good to see all these trade routes. China already revived the Silk road to Iran – linking Chabahar to Iran through Kazakhstan & Turkmenistan & in near future through Afghanistan & Tajikistan. Lapis lazuli trade corridor(road, rail & see link) linking Afghanistan through Turkmenistan to Balkans, Russia, Turkey & Europe. Chabahar is taking away all the business as central trade corridor connecting India to Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia & Russia. Those who block trade routes are big looser here.Recommend

  • Secular Hindu
    Feb 25, 2016 - 5:50PM

    Understanding between Indian and Iran is very old . This investment by Indian companies in Iran port will not only benefit these companies, but also Iran, Afghanistan and other central Asian countries.without getting too parochial, this will enhance the security and also economic development all around India, Iran,Afghanistan,Pakistan etc. This project will get constructed & commissioned very soon, knowing well the capabilities of Indian contractors.Pakistan dont have to fear or have doubt on the port. China constructing port at Gwadar is a good competition to Chabahar, making all ports around to work efficiently. thats positive take away from such competition.In the end, well managed ports will just Chill !Recommend

  • Badar
    Feb 25, 2016 - 7:33PM

    Given the very low level of investment by India, it is clear that India knows that this project does not serve any benefit to it-self.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Feb 25, 2016 - 7:45PM

    Only port to be developed.connecting roads are almost in place.Good Move!Recommend

  • Ahmed Wani
    Feb 25, 2016 - 8:47PM

    India is bulding port…chini building port ….so competition is between them….from where does pakistan came in between….keep your position of what you actually are….sometime aryans,southa asians,arabians….adn now chinese…..Recommend

  • BRB
    Feb 26, 2016 - 1:38AM

    Yes when you’ll wake up tomorrow morning it will be up and operating……. in your dreams.Recommend

  • OSD
    Feb 26, 2016 - 3:56AM

    And like all other Indian projects (tejas, Arjun, nirbhay), ETA of this port is 30 years.Recommend

  • smash
    Feb 26, 2016 - 8:40AM

    Of course it will take 30 years. It’s not a Pakistani terrorist that can be trained in a 6 monthsRecommend

  • AK
    Feb 26, 2016 - 8:48AM

    @OSD: Yes we take time but we assure it lasts the longest and dont forget achievements of ISRO and in other research and development side where India is way ahead of the world in every aspect let that be knowledge, costing or efficiency. To give you an example ahead only 2 Pakistani born people resembled at LIGO where as India was one of the partners of the program and the world needed India to solve complex issues especially Mathematics. Rest assured China will build Gawadar very quickly but it will tumble down more quickly and India will build a lasting port.Recommend

  • Deepak Arora
    Feb 26, 2016 - 3:31PM

    @OSD !! Ever checked the adherence to timeline by Delhi Metro ? Search on Google. Recommend

  • Apr 5, 2016 - 11:51PM

    It will be too expensive for India to reach Central Asia via Iran….Recommend

  • NHA
    May 2, 2016 - 11:11PM

    Does Iran need India’s $ 150 million for Chabahar?? If yes, then it speaks volumes about all this talk of Chbahar as challege to Gawadar. Petty $ 150 m will not helpRecommend

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