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Built by India, Iran's Chabahar port poses challenge to Pak's Gwadar

The first phase of the Chabahar port project is known as the Shahid Beheshti port and was inaugurated by Iran President Hassan Rouhani

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani poses during the inauguration a newly built extension of the port of Chabahar, near the Pakistani border, on the Gulf of Oman, southeastern Iran (Photo: AP/PTI)

The first phase of the Chabahar port was inaugurated on Sunday by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, opening up a new strategic transit route between Iran, and Afghanistan, bypassing

The port in the Sistan-province on the energy-rich nation's southern coast lies outside the Persian and is easily accessed from India's western coast and is considered as a "gateway to golden opportunities" for trade with central Asian countries.

The first phase of the Chabahar port project is known as the and it was inaugurated by Rouhani in the presence of representatives of several countries of the region.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan represented at the inauguration.

"The routes of the region should be connected on land, sea and air," Rouhani said at the inauguration ceremony, according to his office.

The port is likely to ramp up trade between India, and Iran in the wake of denying transit access to for trade with the two countries. has been closely working with to create alternative, reliable access routes, bypassing

Under the agreement signed between and Iran in May last year, is to equip and operate two berths in the Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of  $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a 10-year lease.

Rouhani's office said the president noted that transit is the best communication tool for nations, adding "the routes of the region should be connected on land, sea and air".

Ahead of the inauguration of the port, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif in Tehran during which the implementation of the Chabahar port project was discussed among other issues.

Swaraj made a stopover at Tehran on her return from Russian city of Sochi where she had attended the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The port is likely to ramp up trade between India, and Iran in the wake of denying transit access to for trade with the two countries.

Over a month ago, sent its first consignment of wheat to by sea through the Chabahar port, marking opening of the new strategic transit route.

First Published: Sun, December 03 2017. 17:53 IST
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