0717 GMT January 27, 2020
Alim Yarmohammadi said on Saturday that Iran would welcome Russia’s plans for having an active presence in Chabahar for trade purposes, yet insisting that nothing had changed with regard to the Iran-India partnership for the development of the port, Press TV wrote.
“Iran welcomes Russia’s economic activity (in) and transit of goods through Chabahar, but that does not mean a substitution of current investors with new ones,” Yarmohammadi added.
The lawmaker, who represents Zahedan, the capital of the Iranian province Sistan-Baluchestan where Chabahar is located, elaborated that India had no plans to cease its large-scale development activity along the coast of the Sea of Oman.
“The issue of India’s withdrawal from investment in Chabahar is untrue, a rumor, and the two sides (Iran and India) would carry out their commitments in this field,” said Yarmohammadi.
The comments are the first to come from an Iranian official in response to unconfirmed reports suggesting that Russia had reached a deal with Iran to lease the two ports of Chabahar and Bushehr, located in southwestern Iran, to beef up its military presence along the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
Iran’s development plans for Chabahar gained a fresh momentum in 2016 when India announced it was ready to contribute to the project with the aim of easing its trade access to Afghanistan and countries in the Central Asia region.
Indian companies are currently constructing five terminals in Chabahar while contributing to a major railway project connecting the port city to Zahedan.