The agreement to develop the strategic port was reached during a meeting between Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash and Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
In the meeting, the Iranian minister proposed the formation of a joint transportation committee to expand cooperation between the two sides and stated that the formation of this working committee would enable the activation of transit capacities and the use of the North-South corridor.
The Indian minister, for his part, emphasized his country’s readiness for new investments in the fields of transportation and transit in Iran and invited the Iranian minister to visit India.
As Iran’s only oceanic port on the Gulf of Oman, Chabahar Port holds great significance for the country both politically and economically. The country has taken serious measures to develop this port to improve the country’s maritime trade.
The port consists of Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti terminals, each of which has five berth facilities. The port is located in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan Province and is about 120 kilometers southwest of Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province, where the China-funded Gwadar port is situated.
In May 2016, India, Iran, and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement for the strategically-located Chabahar port to give New Delhi access to Kabul and Central Asia.
Later, based on a separate deal with Iran, India agreed to install and operate modern loading and unloading equipment including mobile harbor cranes in Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar.
Under the framework of the mentioned agreement, the Indian side has been operating in Shahid Beheshti port in the form of a build–operate–transfer (BOT) contract; this is the first time that such a contract has been implemented in one of the country’s ports with 100 percent foreign investment.
The first consignment of Indian equipment for the development of port activities at Chabahar port worth $8.5 million arrived in the southeastern port in January 2021.
Back in last July, India’s ambassador to Tehran said Iran’s southeastern Chabahar Port is a golden opportunity for India to expand its economic ties.
“Chabahar’s position in the expansion of trade exchanges in West Asia, Eurasia, and even Europe is unique,” the envoy said during a visit to the port.