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Chabahar Port Development

22nd January, 2024 International Relations

Chabahar Port Development

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  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar discussed a long-term cooperation framework for Chabahar port with Iranian Minister Mehrdad Bazrpash.

READ ABOUT CHABAHAR PORT IN DETAIL: https://iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/chabahar-port-29

Strategic Location:

  • Chabahar, at the Gulf of Oman's mouth, is Iran's first deepwater port, strategically located for global oceanic trade.
  • Positioned west of the Iran-Pakistan border, it competes with China's Gwadar port to the east in Pakistan.

Strategic Importance for Iran and India:

  • Helps Iran counter Western sanctions.
  • Offers India an alternative route bypassing Pakistan, vital for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia.
  • Part of the proposed International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

India's Involvement (Nature and Timeline):

  • Cooperation initiated in 2002 during President Khatami's visit to India.
  • Part of a roadmap for strategic cooperation signed with Prime Minister Vajpayee.
  • Gained significance as India sought alternative routes due to a hostile Pakistan after Partition.

Chabahar Port Development Progress:

  • Two distinct ports: Shahid Beheshti and Shahid Kalantari.
  • India's investment is limited to Shahid Beheshti.
  • Trilateral agreement signed in 2016; first phase inaugurated in December 2017.
  • IPGL (India Ports Global Limited) involved in the development; four phases are planned for Shahid Beheshti.

Challenges in Development:

  • Traditionally slow progress in regional infrastructure projects by India.
  • Geopolitical roadblocks, especially strained US-Iran relations, have been a major reason for delays.

Recent Developments and Future Outlook:

  • Despite challenges, India has allocated funds and assistance, signaling commitment.
  • The pace of development is impacted by the uncertain US-Iran ties and regional geopolitical volatility.
  • Challenges include susceptibility to American sanctions, uncertainties in Afghanistan, and perceived incompatibility with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The success hinges on active diplomacy and efficient project implementation.

READ ABOUT CHABAHAR PORT IN DETAIL: https://iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/chabahar-port-29


Q. Examine the strategic significance of Chabahar port for Iran and India. Evaluate India's role in its development, highlighting key milestones and challenges. Discuss the progress made, reasons for slow development, recent developments, and the future outlook considering geopolitical factors.