India’s Bold Move: Seals Long-Term Pact to Operate Iran’s Chabahar Port

India has entered into a protracted agreement with Iran concerning the operation of the Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, as announced by the Ministry of External Affairs. This strategic move is anticipated to invigorate Delhi’s investments and connectivity with Tehran.

New Delhi has been nurturing a segment of the port in Chabahar, situated on Iran’s southeastern coastline along the Gulf of Oman, to facilitate the transportation of goods to Iran, Afghanistan, and the central Asian nations, circumventing the ports of Karachi and Gwadar in rival Pakistan. However, the progress of the port has been hindered by US sanctions on Iran over time.

The declaration follows closely after Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s visit to the West Asian nation to finalize the agreement. Laudably portraying this development as a pivotal moment in bilateral cooperation, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal remarked that the deal holds potential for augmenting India’s connections with Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Eurasia.

Chabahar is regarded as a cornerstone in India’s pursuit of regional connectivity, economic prosperity, and geopolitical sway. Despite the challenges posed by US sanctions and infrastructural limitations, India, under the leadership of the Narendra Modi government, has remained resolute in its endeavor to leverage Chabahar’s prospects. It is reported that the contract inked on Monday is likely to span a decade, granting India managerial authority over a portion of the port. Earlier today, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar expressed India’s anticipation of securing a “long-term arrangement” with Iran regarding the Chabahar port. “I am given to understand that my Cabinet colleague Sarbananda Sonowal is en route to Iran today, and it is envisaged that we will witness a lasting agreement between India and Iran,” the minister informed reporters during an event in Mumbai. “The anticipation is that we will witness increased investments and connectivity from that segment of the port. It is certainly progressing in a favorable direction,” he appended.

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