S Jaishankar visits Iran, signs agreement on further development of Chabahar Port

India and Iran on Monday signed an agreement on the further development of the Chabahar Port. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is in Iran as part of ongoing talks between the two sides, also reviewed regional and international developments, Iran’s official IRNA news agency stated.

Jaishankar met Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash and held a detailed and productive discussion on establishing a long-term cooperation framework on the strategically vital Chabahar Port.

Jaishankar said in a post on X, “Began my engagements in Tehran by meeting Minister of Roads and Urban Development @mehrdadbazrpash. Detailed and productive discussion on establishing a long-term cooperation framework with respect to Chabahar port. Also exchanged views on the International North-South Transport Corridor.”

Located in Sistan-Balochistan province on Iran’s southern coast, the Chabahar Port is being developed jointly by India and Iran to boost connectivity and trade ties.

India has been pushing for the port project to boost regional trade, especially for its connectivity to Afghanistan.

Jaishankar had projected the Chabahar Port as a “key regional transit hub” at a connectivity conference in Tashkent in 2021. The port is also seen as a key hub for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project.

The INSTC project is a 7,200-km-long multimode transport project for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

Jaishankar also met with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran.

Jaishankar’s visit to Tehran comes against the backdrop of growing global concerns over the Houthi militants targeting merchant vessels in the Red Sea amid the Israel-Hamas war.

The US and the UK have launched air strikes targeting the Houthi positions in Yemen.

India has been closely monitoring the unfolding situation in the Red Sea. The issue figured in a phone conversation between Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on January 11.

(With inputs from PTI)

Published By:

Ashutosh Acharya

Published On:

Jan 15, 2024

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