India Iran Chabahar Port Lease Deal |  India Vs Pakistan Afghanistan Trade New Route |  India took Iran's Chabahar port on lease: Agreement for 10 years: Pakistan's need for trade in Afghan-Central Asia will end.

India Iran Chabahar Port Lease Deal | India Vs Pakistan Afghanistan Trade New Route | India took Iran’s Chabahar port on lease: Agreement for 10 years: Pakistan’s need for trade in Afghan-Central Asia will end.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Iran in 2016. During this time Chahbar Port was discussed.

India has taken Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar, Iran on lease for 10 years. This deal between India and Iran was signed on Monday. Now the entire management of the port will be with India. Through this, India will get a new route for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia. The need for Pakistan will end.

This port will provide an alternative route for trade to India and Afghanistan. Under the deal, Indian company India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) will invest $120 million in Chabahar Port.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was sent from India to Iran for the agreement of Chabahar Port. India and Iran have been working on Chabahar for two decades. Chabahar is the first port of India taken on lease abroad.

What is Chabahar Port and why is it important for India?
India wants to increase its trade across the world. Chabahar Port can play an important role in this. India can do direct trade with Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe with the help of this port. Iran and India had signed an agreement to build Chabahar Port in 2018.

Earlier, to send any goods from India to Afghanistan, it had to pass through Pakistan. However, due to the border dispute between the two countries, India was looking for an option other than Pakistan. Since the development of Chabahar port, this is the best route to send goods to Afghanistan. India is also sending wheat to Afghanistan through this route. Apart from Afghanistan, this port will also open routes for India to Central Asian countries. Gas and oil from these countries can also be brought through this port.

America has exempted India from certain restrictions regarding the agreements made for this port. Chahbar is being seen as a strategic port of India compared to Gwadar Port of Pakistan. China is developing Gwadar under the Belt and Road Project.

What has India done so far for the port?
Work on Chabahar Port has been going on since the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. In 2003, there were talks between the two countries regarding this. After this, America’s talks with Iran had to be stopped midway due to the ongoing tension. Then in 2013 during the UPA government, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had talked about investing Rs 800 crore for this.

Talks on this moved forward when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Iran in 2016. Modi had signed this agreement with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. India had announced to invest Rs 700 crore in a terminal in Chabahar. Besides, India had also announced a loan of Rs 1250 crore for the development of this port.

Then in November last year, Foreign Secretary Vinay Quatra discussed boosting connectivity with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. According to IPGL, the Indian company developing Chabahar, the port will have a capacity of 82 million tonnes when fully developed.

This will provide relief in reducing congestion at Bandar Abbas port of Iran. Along with this, due to it being made with new technology, movement of goods will be easy here.

Dainik Bhaskar spoke to Rajan Kumar, an expert in international affairs and professor at JNU, on the matter of Chabahar Port…

Question 1: How will India benefit from Chabahar Port?

answer: Earlier the government had no such plan. The government wanted to connect Afghanistan. The government made a lot of investment there for the Direct Rail Project, the goods of which used to go through Gwadar Port of Pakistan. Later, Pakistan closed its port to India, due to which our goods stopped going to other countries along with Afghanistan.

After this, India got the support of Iran’s Chabahar Port. Chabahar Port connects the International North South Transport (INSTC) Corridor. INSTC starts from Russia connecting to Iran via Azerbaijan. Then Chabahar Port of Iran connects to Jawaharlal Nehru Port of Navi Mumbai. This port connects Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Russia and Central Asian countries want to increase their trade through INSTC. Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Oman and Syria are also connected to INSTC. Till now trade has been done from Bandar Abbas (Iranian port). India is trying to include it in INSTC. For this, India is investing a lot there. India will benefit the most from its construction. Under this plan, India will be able to deliver its goods to Europe within 30 days.

The second reason for this is that the distance between Chabahar Port and Gwadar Port of Pakistan is about 170 kilometers. By investing more here, India will get a monopoly, due to which India can keep an eye on Pakistan’s activities.

Question 2: How will this port beat China’s Belt and Road Project?

answer: China has huge investment in Gwadar Port of Pakistan. China’s wish prevails in Gwadar Port. India sees Iran’s Chabahar Port as an alternative to this. From here India can keep an eye on both the countries. For the last few years, China’s investment in the countries of the Middle East has been continuously increasing.

To counter this, India is investing heavily in Iran’s Chabahar Port. Direct trade can be done in Central Asia through land route from Chabahar Port.

Question 3: What impact will this have on the Middle East Corridor?

answer: During the G20 meeting in 2023, all the countries agreed on the Indian Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). Through this corridor, India will be able to trade with the Middle East and Europe. This includes India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Greece and Europe.

Iran was troubled since then. He was beginning to feel that he might not be left alone in the world. Russia started getting isolated in the whole world due to Ukraine war. Iran-Russia will again get the opportunity to trade with the rest of the world through Chabahar Port. So he agreed to it.

Question 4: What will America do in the future?

answer: India has also talked to America regarding this port, so that it will not impose any sanctions on Iran which will affect this port. America cannot do anything special on Chabahar Port. Only Russia and Iran can have an impact in this. However, many countries cannot invest in Iran due to US sanctions.

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