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Chabahar FTZ port politically, economically strategic: Iranian President Rouhani

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani described Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar a politically and economically strategic port that can play a shortcut in linking the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to the ocean according to media reports from Tehran.

Other corridors in the country connect the south to the north and lie on the Persian Gulf, but Shahid Beheshti Port is very important because it is a connection to the ocean, he said inaugurating the port.

The official Iranian News agency IRNA reporting the inauguration of the phase on the Chabhar port did not make any mention of the India's financial contribution to the project.

The first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port in Sistan-Baluchestan Proivince in the far southeast part of Iran was officially opened during a ceremony, attended by 60 foreign guests from 17 countries at the port located by the Gulf of Oman.

Through the Port, goods are sent to the neighboring countries within a much shorter span of time and with a more reasonable cost,' President Rouhani said. Afghanistan and countries to the north of Iran, including those in Central Asia, will now be linked to the south and the ocean, he said.

The project, due to its strategic location, linking the region to Central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), will revive the far southeast areas of Iran in terms of development and employment.The port also bears political importance for Iran, since it will connect the country to the European countries in the future, said the president.

The port will be capable to carry out all portal operations of container terminals, and its annual 8.5 million tons capacity for loading and unloading ships will increase to 15 million tons when its dry port is complete, Deputy Governor of Sistan-Baluchestan Ayyoub Darvishi said. He said that with the next phases completed in the future, the capacity of the port will increase to 80 million tons.

Chabahar is the only oceanic port of Iran which lies on 645 km to the south of Zahedan, the provincial capital city.

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