Chabahar Port: Iran will handover the strategic Chabahar port to an Indian company within a month for operation as per an interim pact, Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said Thursday.
Mr Akhoundi is in India to participate in the Mobility Summit by NITI Aaayog on the government’s invitation. “Now, we are ready just to handover the port (Chabahar) to the Indian company just to operate this in interim agreement that already we had with Indian part for one and a half year,” Mr Akhoundi told PTI here.
Mr Akhoundi after a meeting with his Indian counterpart Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said: “We have already moved one step forward…We should introduce a banking channel to India, which we already did it and fortunately has been formally accepted by the Indian side”.
He said the India has also introduced a banking channel, which has been approved by Iran’s Central Bank.
The Chabahar port is being considered as a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries, besides ramping up trade among the three countries in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi.
“The routes of the region should be connected on land, sea and air,” Hassan Rouhani had said at the inauguration ceremony.
Under the agreement signed between India and Iran earlier, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a 10-year lease.
On his meeting with Mr Gadkari, the Iranian Minister said: “We reviewed the formal statement which was released by Prime Minister Modi during Hassan Rouhani’s to India. That statement is very very strong which shows that we have very deep relationship”.
He said the thing that was emphasised in the meeting was that India is very committed to all the agreements that India has signed.