• Iran preparing Port Chabahar for container ships

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    Iran is preparing its southeastern Port Chabahar for container ships to dock, IRNA news agency reported last week.

    The development of docks has made 92 percent progress and there is a 30-hectare terminal area for containers, cranes, and related equipment to be installed.

    These developments will enable the port to provide facility for the loading/unloading of 120,000 tons of freight.
    So far, $940 million investment has gone into developing the port, aimed at turning it into a trade hub that will connect Iran to India to the south, and provide a route on the North-South Corridor that will stretch to Europe.

    Chabahar is a seaport located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman. It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port, and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti, each of which have five berths.

    Development of the port was first proposed in 1973 by the last Shah of Iran, though development was delayed by the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The first phase of the port was opened in 1983 during the war between Iran and Iraq, as Iran began shifting seaborne trade east towards the Pakistani border in order to decrease dependency on ports in the Persian Gulf which were vulnerable to attacks by the Iraqi Air Force.

    India and Iran first agreed to plans to further develop Shahid Beheshti port in 2003, but did not do so on account of sanctions against Iran. As of 2016, the port had 10 berths.

    In May 2016, India and Iran signed a bilateral agreement in which India would refurbish one of the berths at Shahid Beheshti port, and reconstruct a 600-meter long container handling facility at the port. TNS

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