News ID: 231259
Published: 0222 GMT September 12, 2018

Iran dismisses reports of handing Chabahar port over to India

Iran dismisses reports of handing Chabahar port over to India

An Iranian official said that reports on handing over the operation of the strategic Chabahar port to India are not true.

Hadi Haqshenas, the deputy head of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) for Maritime Affairs, told Iran's Young Journalist Club that statements attributed to Roads and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi about the port's operation were distorted in translation.

Last week Indian media outlets quoted Akhoundi as saying that Iran will hand over the port to Indian company within a month for operation as per an interim agreement.

Meanwhile, Haqshenas said that Iran has only handed over the development of the port to the Indian side, not its administration.

However, the official added that loading and unloading operations in the port is handed over to the Indian side.

Iran will never assign ownership of any port or land to another country, he declared.

In the meantime, he added that in return for importing equipment and facilitating unloading and loading operations, the right to operate the Chabahar port will be handed over to India for a limited time.

Chabahar Port in Iran's southeastern coast in Sistan-Baluchistan Province is easily accessible from India's western coast. The port provides India with an easier land-sea route to Afghanistan.

In November, India sent its first cargo of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar in what appeared to be a trial run of a multi-modal connectivity route.

A rail link between Chabahar and Zahedan and thence to Afghanistan is a crucial part of India's ambitious extra-regional connectivity plans over which Tehran, New Delhi and Kabul have signed a basic agreement.

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