Advertisment

Why must we cheer for the India-Iran Chabahar port deal

author-image
SAS Kirmani
New Update
Union MoS for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal during the signing of a contract between India Ports Global Ltd. & Ports and Maritime organisation of Iran for the operation of the Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, Iran.

Union MoS for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal during the signing of a contract between India Ports Global Ltd. & Ports and Maritime organisation of Iran for the operation of the Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, Iran.

New Delhi: India and Iran signed a 10-year agreement for development of infrastructure at the Chabahar port. Being the closest Iranian port to it, India has offered a credit worth 250 million dollars for the purpose.

Advertisment

The negotiations were going for the last three years over a clause of arbitration on the jurisdiction.India' move has halted China’s interest in investment in Iran's port.

Chabahar Port is located in southeastern Iran, specifically in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province, near the Gulf of Oman. It sits on the Makran Coast, strategically positioned between the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.

Why does Chabahar Port hold significant importance?

Advertisment

Strategic Location

Chabahar Port's location offers strategic advantages, serving as a gateway for trade and connectivity between Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. It provides an alternative route that bypasses Pakistan, particularly crucial for landlocked countries like Afghanistan and Central Asian nations.

Trade and Economic Benefits 

Advertisment

The port serves as a vital trade hub, facilitating the movement of goods such as oil, minerals, agricultural products, and manufactured goods. It enhances regional trade integration and offers opportunities for economic growth and development.

Connectivity and Transport Corridors

Chabahar Port is a key component of international transport corridors, including the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Ashgabat Agreement. These corridors aim to improve connectivity and reduce transportation costs for goods moving between Asia and Europe.

Advertisment

Development Projects

Several development projects are associated with Chabahar Port, including the construction of new terminals, road and rail connectivity enhancements, and the development of industrial zones and free trade areas. These projects aim to boost port capacity, improve logistics infrastructure, and attract investment.

Geostrategic Significance

Advertisment

Chabahar Port holds geostrategic significance for regional players like India, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asian countries. It offers diversification of trade routes, reduces dependency on existing routes through the Strait of Hormuz, and promotes regional stability and cooperation.

Energy Security

For countries like India, Chabahar Port provides access to energy resources and helps in securing energy supplies through alternate routes, reducing vulnerabilities associated with maritime chokepoints.

Advertisment

Chabahar Port has a rich historical significance dating back centuries, with its importance evolving over time.

Ancient Trade Routes

The region around Chabahar has been a part of ancient trade routes, including the Silk Road, connecting Asia with Europe and Africa. These routes facilitated the exchange of goods, ideas, and cultures, contributing to the region's economic and cultural development.

Strategic Maritime Location

Chabahar's location along the Makran Coast has historically been strategically important due to its proximity to major maritime routes. It served as a key port for maritime trade and naval activities, allowing access to the Indian Ocean and beyond.

Portuguese and British Influence

During the Age of Exploration, European powers like Portugal and later Britain recognised the strategic value of Chabahar and established trading posts and naval bases in the region. These developments contributed to the port's importance in global trade networks.

Regional Trade Hub

Over time, Chabahar emerged as a regional trade hub, connecting the Persian Gulf region with South Asia, Central Asia, and beyond. It facilitated trade in goods such as spices, textiles, precious metals, and agricultural products, contributing to the economic prosperity of the region.

Colonial and Modern Era Developments

During the colonial era and into the modern era, Chabahar continued to play a role in regional trade and maritime activities. Infrastructure developments, including the construction of piers, warehouses, and customs facilities, further enhanced the port's capacity.

Following the signing of the deal. the United States warned of potential sanctions risk. The US also said it would let India speak of its own bilateral relationship with Iran.

To sum up, we must cheer for this deal between India and Iran. We also have a point to win over China.

Advertisment
Subscribe