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India and Iran ink lease contract agreement for Phase 1 of Chabahar Port

The Lease Contract Agreement permitting the Indian Ports Global Limited IPGL to operate the Shahid Behesht Port phase one for a specified period of time was signed with Iranian Port and Maritime Organization during the recent visit of the Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani to New Delhi 

Both Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and Dr Rouhani welcomed the lease contract. They directed that the Coordination Council should meet within the timelines stipulated in the Trilateral Agreement to take steps to operate the port.

The two sides recognized the unique role of Iran and India in promoting multimodal connectivity within and across the region. The successful inauguration of the Phase 1 of Chabahar Port in early December 2017; the ratification of the Trilateral Agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor by all sides; and the successful shipment of wheat assistance from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port have opened a new gateway to and from Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.

 Both sides reiterated their commitment for early and full operationalisation of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar. The Iranian side welcomed the investment of the Indian side in setting up plants in sectors such as fertilisers, petrochemicals and metallurgy in Chabahar FTZ on terms mutually beneficial to the concerned parties. 

With a view to fully utilize the potential of Chabahar Port and its connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia, India conveyed its readiness to support the development of the Chabahar-Zahedan rail line. IRCON, India and CDTIC, Iran who are engaged in discussions, were tasked to finalize the technical parameters and financing options for the project in a time-bound manner. Both leaders encouraged greater efforts for cooperation in the railway sector, including supply of steel rails, turnouts and locomotives. 

Both sides reiterated their commitment to the International North- South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and stressed on the need for the inclusion of Chabahar within its framework. It was noted that Iran will hold an early INSTC Coordination Meeting in Tehran. India’s accession to the TIR Convention and Ashgabat Agreement was welcomed as additional steps at enhancing regional connectivity and linking regional centres of economic growth.

The two leaders released a joint postage stamp depicting Deendayal Port, Kandla and Shahid Beheshti Terminal, Chabahar that reflected enhanced prosperity through greater connectivity. 

The Iranian side also expressed its readiness to enhance the enabling environment to attract Indian private/public sector investments in Chabahar FTZ. In this context, Iran will organise a business promotion event with participation of countries from the region and beyond, with the objective of showcasing the economic opportunities offered by Chabahar Port according to an official communique .
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