Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian expressed optimism about the finalization of a long-awaited agreement with India on the development of Iran’s southeastern port city of Chabahar.
In a meeting with Amirabdollahian on Tuesday, Iran’s Ambassador to New Delhi Iraj Elahi briefed the foreign minister on the progress in cooperation between the two nations and the plans to hold a meeting of Joint Economic Commission in the near future.
The foreign minister emphasized in the meeting that India has a significant place in Iran’s policy of orientation to the East, calling for efforts to expedite the implementation of the joint projects.
Amirabdollahian also expressed hope that the final version of an agreement with India on the development of Chabahar port would be signed in the near future.
India is an important and influential link in the North-South international corridor, the foreign minister stated, appreciating India’s support for Iran’s membership in the BRICS.
Chabahar, located in southeastern Iran, was envisioned as a gateway for India to access Central Asian markets.
In 2016, India committed $85 million for the development of Chabahar, along with a $150 million line of credit. As of 2023, India has supplied six gantry cranes to the tune of $25 million for the development of the port.
However, the initiative faced obstacles due to Western sanctions against Iran. In 2013, India pledged $100 million to develop the port, but matters progressed after the 2015 nuclear deal was struck between Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
Also, an agreement was signed between Indian Railways’ IRCON unit and Iranian Railways’ Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company in 2016 to construct the Chabahar-Zahedan Railway project.