Chabahar deal not over; Pak, China welcome: Iran

The Chabahar port agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan is “not finished”

The Dollar Business Bureau

The strategic Chabahar port agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan is not over yet and China and Pakistan are welcome to become a part of it, said Iranian envoy to Pakistan.

The trilateral agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran, India and Afghanistan on the strategically important Chabahar port is ‘not finished’ yet and is “not limited to the three countries”, said Mehdi Honerdoost, Iranian Envoy to Pakistan, while speaking to Dawn newspaper, on Pakistan-Iran relations.

The Ambassador said that the offer for cooperation had been first made to Pakistan and after that to China, and implied none of them had shown interest.

Both are sister ports, and authorities at Chabahar port would extend a hand of cooperation to Gwadar port, he added.

“The deal is not finished. We are waiting for new members. Pakistan, our brotherly neighbour and China, a great partner of the Iranians and a good friend of Pakistan, are both welcome. India was a good friend during the sanctions, the only country to import oil from us during sanctions,” the envoy said.

The pact is still open for discussion with both China and Pakistan, promising that “Chabahar port is not a competitor to Gwadar”, he said.

Earlier this week, during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s to Iran, a ‘milestone’ agreement on the Chabahar port was signed between India and Iran. The port, situated in southern part of Iran, will provide India the much needed access to Afghanistan and European market, bypassing Pakistan.

India said that it will provide an investment of $500 million for the development of the Chabahar port in Iran and the two countries also agreed on a number of projects, expected to be worth millions of dollars.

The Dollar Business Bureau - May 28, 2016 12:00 IST