India expects long-term arrangement with Iran on Chabahar port |


India expects to secure a “long-term arrangement” with Iran on the management of the Iranian port of Chabahar, India’s foreign minister said on Monday as the country’s shipping minister left on a visit to Iran.

India has been developing part of the port in Chabahar on Iran’s southeastern coast along the Gulf of Oman as a way to transport goods to Iran, Afghanistan and central Asian countries, bypassing the port of Karachi and Gwadar in its rival Pakistan.

US sanctions on Iran, however, have slowed the port’s development.

“As and when a long-term arrangement is concluded, it will clear the pathway for bigger investments to be made in the port,” Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar told reporters in Mumbai.

He said his cabinet colleague, Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, was travelling to Iran.

A source close to the shipping ministry said Sonowal is expected to witness the signing of a “crucial contract” that would ensure a long-term lease of the port to India.

The contract will likely be for ten years and will give India management control over a part of the port, the Economic Times reported earlier in the day, citing unidentified sources.

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