Development of Chabahar port as ‘golden gateway’ significant example of Iran-India engagement: Iranian Envoy


PTI, Feb 10, 2024, 7:02 PM IST

Iran's Chabahar port (source: Wikimedia Commons)

New Delhi: Development of the Chabahar port as a “golden gateway” connecting the countries in the Indian Ocean region to Central Asia is a significant example of India-Iran engagement, Iranian ambassador Iraj Elahi has said.

The envoy said cooperation between the two countries in implementation of the ambitious International North-“South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is also important examples of the growing bilateral ties.

In an address at an event marking the 45th anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Elahi said the “cordial meeting” between Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg in August last paved the way for a “new phase” in the “good cooperation” between the two nations.

“The cooperation of the two countries in the development of Chabahar port, as the golden gateway connecting the countries along the Indian Ocean to Central Asia and the Caucasus, and the cooperation in the INSTC are important examples of the growing cooperation,” he said on Friday.

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

India has been pushing for the Chabahar port project to boost regional trade, especially for its connectivity to Afghanistan. India and Iran have projected the port as a key hub for the INSTC project.

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

The Iranian ambassador said the economic relations between Iran and India are developing in different sectors.

In his remarks Elahi, talking about historical linkages between the two nations, complimented India for preserving the Persian language in its “heart” throughout centuries.

“The relations between the two nations of Iran and India have a long history. Beautiful Persian poems are still read in every corner of India. India, like a kind nanny, has preserved the Persian language in its heart throughout the centuries,” he said.

The envoy said Persian poets of India have made a great contribution to Persian poetry.

On overall ties, he said Iran and India are having important coordination and cooperation at the regional and international levels.

“The presence of Iran and India in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) shows the cooperation of the two countries at the international level,” he said.

Talking about challenges facing Iran, Elahi described his country as a “victim of terrorism” which has been having a non-stop fight against terrorism.

“Iran has prevented ISIS from dominating the West Asian region,” he said adding the country is “proud to have lost one of its national heroes” in the fight against terrorism, and the world will never forget the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq.

Soleimani was killed in a drone strike near Baghdad in January 2020.

On the regional situation, the ambassador said Iran has always stood by the “oppressed” people of Palestine from the beginning until now.

“Iran, with its unique geopolitical position, plays an important role in international connections and in strengthening the peace and stability of the West Asian region,” he said.

Highlighting Iran’s development journey in the last four decades, Elahi said Iranian people and government have stood against many “fierce storms” such as terror, “economic sanctions or economic terrorism” but the country has been moving towards the “heights of victory”.

He listed Iran’s “extraordinary rise” in various scientific, economic and technological fields.

“Self-sufficiency in the production of agricultural products, industrial products, Nano technology, aerospace technology and peaceful nuclear energy are some of the successes and capabilities of Iran,” he said.

“In the past month, Iran managed to simultaneously launch three research satellites into space and take steps towards becoming a space power,” he said.

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