India’s Daily Shipping Times reports that the country has offered to establish direct shipping route to Iran’s south Eastern Chabahar Port in a bid to cut the costs of the transit of commodities between the two countries.
The offer was made during a meeting between Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi and an Indian delegation of experts in Tehran on Sunday.
Indian Ambassador to Tehran Shri D.P. Srivastava said an Indian private company is ready to establish a direct shipping link between Chabahar and Indian ports in order to bypass Dubai where Indian container ships currently have to cross to reach Iran.
The capital investment initially envisaged for the construction of a container terminal in Chabahar is US$ 147 million.
Chabahar Port, located 72 kilometers (44 miles) west of Pakistan’s Gwadar port, is of strategic significance for India as it is already connected to the city of Zaranj in Afghanistan’s south west and could therefore serve as India’s entry point to Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.
Afghan Ambassador to New Delhi Shaida Mohammad Abdali has said in the past that his government is eager to sign an agreement with Iran and India for the transit of commodities to Afghanistan.