TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The first phase of Shahid Beheshti International Port in Chabahar, Sistan-Baluchestan province, was inaugurated by President Hassan Rouhani through a ceremony participated by officials and dignitaries from 17 countries.
President Rouhani was quoted by media as saying that the inauguration of the project had marked a historic day for Iran – and particularly the people of Chabahar.
He emphasized that the project was specifically important given that it connected the trade corridors that pass through Iran to the ocean.
“This port is also significant from the political point of view given that it connects Iran with its eastern and northern neighbors and in a later stage to European states,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency.
The project to develop Shahid Beheshti Port started in 2007 through an investment that officials previously said already amounted to $1 billion.
The annual cargo tonnage of Shahid Beheshti Port – Iran’s only oceanic port – has now almost tripled to reach as high as 8.5 million tons.
It can also host 100,000 tonne ships – what officials say can help promote the country’s international trade activities.
The overall development of Shahid Beheshti is planned to be taken place in four phases thus bringing its total annual cargo capacity to 82 million tonnes.
Tehran plans to use Chabahar for transhipment to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
India, Iran and Afghanistan have signed an agreement to give Indian goods, heading toward Central Asia and Afghanistan, preferential treatment and tariff reductions at Chabahar.
Chabahar provides India an easier land-sea route to Afghanistan. The Indian government has committed $500 million to Chabahar, aiming to join an increasingly important transport corridor to the resource-rich regional countries.
Massive investment plans are already on the cards, with the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering to build a sprawling artery of roads and railways which is estimated to cost $15 billion.
India has finalized a plan to build a 900-km railroad from the Afghan province of Bamiyan to Chabahar Port. It has also already spent $100 million on building a 220-km road in the Afghan province of Nimroz, which will be extended to Chabahar.
When its development is complete, Chabahar will link with the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) which is currently stretches from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf to Russia, Eurasia and Europe.
Source: Press TV