India and Iran Chabahar Port Deal: Afghanistan

India and Iran Chabahar Port Deal: Afghanistan

Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe

Modern Tokyo Times

The nations of India and Iran signed an important 10-year business contract to develop the Chabahar Port in Iran.

Geopolitically, the deal – presumably backed to a greater extent than in the past – will entail the government of India boosting regional developments from Iran to Afghanistan and further afield in Central Asia. Accordingly, the government of India will encourage businesses in the nation to utilize the new 10-year business agreement between India and Iran.

Sarbananda Sonawal (Shipping Minister of India) said, “Chabahar Port’s significance transcends its role as a mere conduit between India and Iran – it serves as a vital trade artery connecting India with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.”

The state-owned Ports Global Ltd (IPGL) company of India and the Ports & Maritime Organisation (PMO) of Iran – signed this significant agreement. This concerns the development of the Shahid-Behesti terminal at this port.

Voice of America reports, “Chabahar is India’s first major overseas port venture and for New Delhi, it is an important part of its strategy to improve links with resource-rich Central Asian republics and Afghanistan, access to which has been hampered due to the decades long hostile relations between India and Pakistan.”

Lee Jay Walker (Modern Tokyo Times analyst) says, “India – with eyes on the role of China in Pakistan – is too independent to worry about any ramifications from America under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of India. Accordingly, the Chabahar Port will garner $120 million in infrastructure development from India – and a further $250 million in credit to Iran.”

The Independent Commodity Intelligence Services reports, “India imports methanol, bitumen, liquefied propane, inorganic/organic chemicals, among others from Iran; while it exports pharmaceuticals, rice, tea, sugar and fruits to the Middle Eastern country.”

The Spokesperson (Akhundzada Abdul Salam Javad) for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Afghanistan said, “This is good news for our private sector – and our transit and transport sector. We can provide the facilities that India may require on our soil.”

In 2023, trade between India and Afghanistan reached $779 million.

America should refrain from making a hasty decision that is detrimental to India. This concerns this economic and geopolitical venture because India needs to consider the expansion of China throughout the region.

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