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India expects to secure long-term deal to operate Iran’s Chabahar port


Mumbai, May 13: India is expected to secure a long term arrangement for the management of Iran’s Chabahar sea port which would clear the way for strengthening economic ties between the two countries, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar said on Monday.

Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is travelling to Tehran to hold crucial talks for signing the deal, which has been held up regarding the combination of partners, and one will have to see the long term agreements that will come out of it, EAM Jaishankar told journalists.

"As and when a long term arrangement is concluded, it will clear the pathway for bigger investments and more linkages coming out of the seaport,” he said.

India has been developing a terminal at the port in Chabahar, with a view to transport goods to Iran, and the landlocked countries of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The new agreement with Iran would open a trade route between South Asia and Central Asia via Iran, bypassing Karachi and Gwadar ports in Pakistan.

There are plans to link the Chabahar port with the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that connects India with Russia via Iran, giving India access to the Central Asian region.

This would be an alternative route bypassing the congested Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz sea lanes.

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