India built Chabahar Port opened as Iran's Arabian Sea outlet: All you need to know

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday threw open the newly built extension to the country's main Arabian Sea outlet in the form of the strategic Chabahar Port on the Gulf of Oman.

Chabahar Port

The Chabahar port is crucial as Pakistan does not allow India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its territory by land. The port is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2018.

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

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

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

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

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

Ahead of the inauguration of the port, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday 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, Afghanistan and Iran in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi for trade with the two countries.

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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