The Iranian Foreign Ministry is actively trying to find a solution for faster implementation of the Chabahar Port Project despite “technical issues”, one of a top Iranian diplomatic sources quoted by media reports.
“We have some technical issues (when it comes) to working with India in Chabahar and trying to find a solution with the foreign ministry. We have had good progress.” He however declined to identify the technical issues coming in the way of operating the Indian terminals of the port. The project started with fan fare during the UPA II Government as a dedicated route to Afghanistan by passing Pakistan. Both India and Iran had interest in assisting the war torn Afghanistan. But progress in the project was hit by the US sanctions on Iran on the nuclear issue. Indian terminal at Chabahar port faced problems in acquiring modern cranes because of the sanctions.
Despite US sanctions against Iran coming in the way of the port project, India and Iran are understood to be negotiating a long term contract
for a deep sea port at Chabahar. The Chabahar Port Project is India’s first foreign port project. “If we have more cooperation on Chabahar, then the Indian Ocean Region will have a new gate for (trade in) Central Asia, Afghanistan, Eurasia,” For India, the Chabahar Port — located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman — is strategic as it would open a new trade route for Indian goods to Afghanistan and Central Asia, thereby bypassing the existing land route through Pakistan, Iranian sources said.’
The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) — an ambitious 7,200-km multi-modal transport route between India, Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe — was discussed during the meeting the Iranian regime had with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval when he visited Tehran last month.
“The INSTC, like the Chabahar Port, has seen troubles too. In July, last year the first shipment through the INSTC arrived at Jawaharlal Nehru Port from Russia’s Astrakhan Port. However, owing to major changes in the region, especially in the wake of the Ukraine War and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, overall flow of goods through the INSTC has been slow. Certain railroads between Iran and Russia also need to work to make the functioning of the corridor successful. “Iran and Russia are working to complete the Rasht-Astara railroad crucial missing link of nearly 300 kilometres in the corridor