0930 GMT January 25, 2020
"The Mumbai-Mundra-Kandla-Chabahar-Bandar Abbas shipping line officially kicked off work after the TEU 3700 container ship berthed at Shahid Beheshti port of Chabahar city (today)," Director General of the Sistan-Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organization Behrouz Aqaei told Fars News Agency on Sunday.
He added that the shipping line will operate regular traffic of cargo ships every two weeks.
Chabahar is Iran's closest and best access point 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, during a Trilateral Agreement meeting in the port on December 24 among the heads of Indian, Iranian and Afghanistan delegations.
Earlier this month, Director General of the Chabahar Free Trade Zone Organization Abdol Rahim Kordi 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 entire region.
Kordi announced that over 3,000 companies had registered for business in Chabahar.
Kordi 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 three countries, and will have a special impact on relations between the countries of the region," he said.