President Rouhani stresses using Chabahar port to develop all-out cooperation with India

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a meeting with new Indian Ambassador to Iran Saurabh Kumar underlined the necessity for using the potentials of Iran’s Southeastern Chabahar Port to increase cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi in all fields.

“Chabahar port city in Iran, as an important transit port, links India to Afghanistan and the Central Asian states, and it can be used to develop all-out mutual cooperation,” Rouhani said during the meeting in Tehran on Tuesday.

He said that Tehran and New Delhi can have extensive cooperation in different fields, including the development of their ports and railways, setting up different industries and energy and other economic and trade sections.

During the meeting, Saurabh submitted his credentials to President Rouhani, and said, “India is ready to consult and cooperate with Iran in all political, economic and strategic fields as well as campaign against terrorism.”

Iran has endorsed an Indian consortium’s 85-million dollar offer for making investments to develop the Southeastern port of Chabahar, head of the Port and Marine Organization in Sistan and Baluchestan province said in August.

“An Indian consortium, including two companies, is to make investments in Chabahar port in the upcoming two months,” the head of Port and Marine Organization in Sistan and Baluchestan Siavash Rezvani said at a news conference in Chabahar.

The official added that an Iranian company has been appointed to cooperate with Indians and National Development Fund of Iran (NDFI) is due to provide the Iranian operator with $330 million of facilities.

“The inked contract with Indians is in the form of Build–operate–transfer (BOT),” he added.

He explained that under the endorsed BOT, the Indians will receive a concession from Iran to finance, design, construct, and operate in Chabahar Port and recover their investment, operating and maintenance expenses in the project.

“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has proposed a multi-billion-dollar investment in Iran’s infrastructural projects, including development of Chabahar strategic port, which has been welcomed by the Indian side,” Iranian Ambassador to New Delhi Gholamreza Ansari announced in July.

Just some 72 km West of China-developed Gwadar port in Pakistan’s restive province of Baluchistan, Chabahar, on the mouth of the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, provides India a land-sea access route into Afghanistan and Central Asia through the Bandar Abbas-Caspian Sea axis.

Several foreign countries are willing to make huge investments in economic and infrastructure projects of Chabahar Port following the July 14 agreement between Tehran and six world powers but Iran is scrutinizing the offers to select the most qualified ones as its future partners.

By Fars News Agency