India, Iran ink contract for long-term development of Chabahar Port
New Delhi is offering a credit window of $250 million for development of infrastructure around the port

at 1:13 am
File pic of Chabahar port in Iran

New Delhi/Tehran, May 13: After three-year long negotiations, India and Iran on Monday inked a contract to develop and operate Tehran’s strategic Chabahar Port, located along the Gulf of Oman, for 10 years, marking a new chapter in regional connectivity.

New Delhi is offering a credit window worth $250 million for the development of infrastructure around the port.

Indian Ports and Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who arrived in Tehran today, oversaw the inking of the contract.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal posted on X:
“Scripting a new chapter in bilateral partnership!
Minister @shipmin_india & @moayush @sarbanandsonwal witnessed the signing of the long-term contract for the operation of the Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, between India Ports Global Ltd. & Ports and Maritime organisation of Iran.

“The contract will give a boost to regional connectivity & India’s linkages with Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eurasia.”

Minister Sonowal is quoted as saying on the occasion: “With the signature of this contract, we have laid the foundations of India’s long-term involvement at Chabahar.”
Sonowal posted on X:

“At Tehran, Iran today, delighted to be part of the signing of the Long Term Bilateral Contract on Chabahar Port Operations in presence of HE Mehrdad Bazrpash, Minister of Roads & Urban Development, Iran.

“India will develop and operate Iran’s strategic Chabahar Port for 10 years, marking a historic moment in India-Iran ties and regional connectivity.
“Led by relentless effort of Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji, the agreement not only strengthens links between two great nations but also places India’s firm footstep in the global supply chain and maritime sector.

“This is a realisation of Modi Ji’s vision of enhancing global trade by providing an alternate trade route to India for Iran, Afghanistan, Eurasia and Central Asian Republics. India’s operation of Chabahar Port will also be significant in providing humanitarian aid, opening new vistas in fostering peace and stability in the region.
“The Chabahar Port located on Iran’s south-western coast has easy access to India’s west coast.

“It also forms a crucial link in the International North-South Transport Corridor. The long-term contract will give a significant boost to economic activities and establish our growing role in developing global trade & commerce,” he posted.

Chabahar Port, which sits at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman, offers India an alternative route for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia – bypassing Pakistan which has denied India land access to these regions.

The port, located in southeastern Iran, has been developed with Indian aid.

Chabahar is also part of the proposed International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multi-modal transportation route linking the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. The deep sea port of Chabahar also offers an alternative route bypassing the congested Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

Today’s agreement replaces an initial pact inked in 2016 that has been renewed annually.

The deal was being negotiated by the two sides over the past three years and had been held up over differences on a clause related to arbitration.

India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ), a subsidiary of state-run India Global Ports Limited (IGPL), currently operates the Shahid Beheshti terminal at Chabahar port.

Indian Ambassador to Iran Rudra Gaurav Shresth said that with the signing of the contract New Delhi has lived up to its obligations to develop the Iranian port of Chabahar, according to Iranian media.

“Before long, a new chapter of cooperation between New Delhi and Tehran will open to deploy advanced equipment in the port of Chabahar and increase the transportation of commodities,” Shresth said on Monday while visiting the Shahid Beheshti port in the southeastern city of Chabahar.

“India is committed to increasing capacity, efficiency, and development of equipment in the Iranian port,“ he noted.

In mid-January, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said that he and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have had discussions over “strategic connections”, including the development of Iran’s Chabahar Port and the significance of the International North-South Transit Corridor (INSTC).

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.