India expects long-term arrangement with Iran on Chabahar Port: EAM S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India expects a long-term arrangement with Iran on the management of the strategic Chabahar Port. The minister’s comments come as shipping minister Sarbananda Sonowal has gone to Iran for the new agreement. 

“As and when a long-term arrangement is concluded, it will clear the pathway for bigger investments to be made in the port,” S Jaishankar told reporters in Mumbai. According to a report in Reuters, Sonowal would witness the signing of the “crucial contract” that would ensure a long-term lease of the port to India.

Jaishankar said that India has been running Chabahar Port on an ad-hoc basis. 

India has been developing part of the port in Iran as a way to transport goods to Iran, Afghanistan and central Asian countries, bypassing the port of Karachi and Gwadar in its rival Pakistan. The development of the port has been slowed down due to US sanctions on Iran.

India plans to make Chabahar Port a transit hub  under the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to reach out to CIS countries. India wants to economise the movement of cargo with Central Asia, and the Chabahar Port would act as a commercial transit centre for the region. 

According to a report in The Economic Times, the pact would replace the original contract and would be valid for 10 years. It would reportedly be automatically extended. 

(With Reuters inputs)

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