Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s Foreign Minister on Friday, said India and Iran need to work together to accelerate rail connectivity to Afghanistan and the procurement of equipment for the development of Chabahar Port. He added that India’s good relations with Iran, Afghanistan, and the US could play a promising role in bringing sustainable stability and economic and trade connectivity in the region.
Following Afghanistan’s efforts to find out alternative trade routes to access global markets other than Karachi Port, Chabahar Port was considered a suitable option, and the port is considered significantly crucial for Afghanistan and Central Asia. Fortunately, enough, Iran’s parliament recently approved the expansion of the free zone, which can further regional trade among countries.
“One of the problems in the progress of the Chabahar Port project is that India has found difficulty in procuring the necessary equipment for the port despite the exemption.” Said Zarif.
“Connecting Chabahar to Afghanistan and Central Asia through rail is another issue. To complete the Chabahar-Zahedan rail network, Iran needs more rails for which we will negotiate with India to provide us rails. Therefore, by cooperating, Iran and India can procure the equipment for the port and finishing the rail link,” Zarif added.
According to economic experts, the completion of Chabahar Port will play a significant role in trade connectivity between India and Afghanistan as well as the wider region.
Due to the deteriorating relations between Iran and the US, only a part of the project has been implemented thus far. The re-imposition of economic sanctions on Iran by the US in 2018 further escalated the situation, and the project progress is getting delayed.