India says Chabahar Port in Iran will be operational by 2019
25 June 2018
India will make sure that the Chabahar Port in Iran becomes operational by 2019, reports quoting government sources said on Sunday. India`s statement came as an assurance to Iran after the United States threatened to renew sanctions against Tehran after the US pulled out of a nuclear pact with that country.
The Chabahar port, being developed as part of a new transportation corridor for land-locked Afghanistan, is expected to open the route for millions of dollars worth of trade and cut dependence on Pakistan for cross-country trade.
Iran and India, in February, signed an agreement worth $85 million to develop Chabahar Port in south-eastern Iran.
The lease agreement, signed in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, gives operational control to India of Shahid Beheshti port (phase one of the Chabahar port).
Prime Minister Modi then said the two sides want to expand bilateral ties and cooperation in economic development.
On 8 May US President Donald Trump announced Washington's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal which limited the country`s uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief.
The fresh sanctions threaten to derail the project, which would help land-locked Afghanistan to gain access to the shipping routes.
Iran in 2015 signed a nuclear deal with six countries - US, Britain, Germany, Russia, France and China – to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for lifting economic sanctions on Tehran.
Iran had earlier said it would also be forced to move out of the deal and resume its nuclear activities if the other parties to the nuclear deal failed to safeguard Iran`s interests.