“We implemented plans to develop the first phase of Chabahar port under sanctions and (now) we declare preparedness to start the second phase,” Mohammad told FNA on Tuesday.
He explained that the second phase of Chabahar’s Shahid Beheshti port has two docks and associated container areas as well as 38 hectares of container terminals and needs dredging of 6.5mln cubic meters of earth, adding that the second phase is worth $165mln.
Chabahar is the closest and best access point of Iran to the Indian Ocean. In May 2016, Iran and India signed a deal to equip and operate containers and multi-purpose terminals at Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar with the capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $ 22.95 million on a 10-year lease.
India’s Shipping Ministry officially announced in a statement early this month that the country had taken over the operations of strategic Chabahar port in the Sistan and Baluchistan province of Iran’s Southeastern coast, during a Trilateral Agreement meeting in the port on December 24 among the heads of Indian, Iranian and Afghanistan delegations.
Earlier this month, the Director-General of the Chabahar Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Organization announced that around 400 companies from 15 countries had officially applied so far to do business in, adding that the Iranian oceanic hub would have tremendous impact on the whole region.
Abdul Rahim Kurdi announced that more than 3,000 companies had registered their name for business in the Free Chabahar Zone.
He added that 400 out of the 3,000 registered companies are from 15 countries.
Addressing the Iran-India Economic Forum, Kurdi said as a new regional actor in the Middle East, Chabahar played a special role in economic diplomacy of the region.
“The Chabahar agreement, between Iran, Afghanistan and India, is a milestone in the development of relations between the 3 countries, and will have a special impact on relations between the countries of the region,” he said.