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India to develop Irans Chahbahar port (analysed from The Hindu relevant for GS II & III, Topic: Infrastructure, Bilateral and multi-lateral ties)

India and Iran signed a series of agreements on Monday that will allow New Delhi to use and develop the port of Chahbahar to access Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Agreements regarding Chahbahar:

1.    The first agreement will provide India the right to develop and operate two terminals and five berths with multipurpose cargo handling capacities in the port of Chahbahar for 10 years. 

2.    Following the bilateral agreement, Prime Minister Modi and Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani were joined by Dr. Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, who sealed the agreement for Trilateral Transport and Transit Corridor connecting Chahbahar with Afghan road and rail network.

3.    The main contract on Chahbahar port was supplemented by a contract between the Ex-Im Bank of India and Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation with a capital back-up of $150 million for developing the port.

Other Agreements:

The two countries also sealed 11 other agreements, covering culture, finance and conservation.

Significance:

The economic benefit from this agreement could extend to Central Asian countries. When linked with the International North South Transport Corridor, it would touch South Asia at one end and Europe at another.

Pakistan bypassed:

1.    The agreement on Chahbahar will open a new route of commerce between India, Iran, Afghanistan and Russia bypassing Pakistan

2.    After 1947 Pakistan became an obstacle between India and Central Asia. But the agreement on Chahbahar will finally convince Pakistan that it cannot continue to play the role of an obstacle for India’s plans for Central Asia



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