Chababar game-changer: Strategic port opens new pathways for India

In a transformational move, India has finally succeeded in surmounting the Pakistan barrier to ease its access to the landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia with the inauguration of the first phase of Chabahar port.
More than a month after India sent its first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan via the Chabahar port in Iran, the first phase of a newly built extension of the $340-million project opened on December 3, opening new strategic and economic possibilities for India.
“Clearly, it’s a game-changing move for Indian diplomacy in the region that has been hobbled by Pakistan’s intransigence in not allowing Indian goods overland access to Afghanistan,” said Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on India’s expanding global engagements.

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Scripting a new chapter in India-Iran relations

Building on centuries of civilisational connect and shared interests amid a shifting regional geopolitical landscape, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Tehran (May 22-23) opened a new chapter in India’s relations with an emerging power in the West Asia region. Enhancing connectivity and commerce, combined with rejuvenating cultural connections, were the overarching themes that framed the first standalone bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Iran in over a decade and culminated in a road map for advancing India-Iran relations in the next decades of the 21st century.

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Advantage India: Iran accords priority status to Delhi for trade

It’s payback time for Tehran for New Delhi’s solidarity. Signaling an upsurge in its ties with New Delhi, Iran has accorded priority status to India for trade, according to India’s apex export body. Acknowledging India’s support to Iran during difficult times, when the US and the 28-nation EU bloc had imposed sanctions on it, India was among the three countries that continued to engage with Iran in trade.

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India-Iran ties set to fly high: Energy partnership, enhanced trade on agenda

India’s multi-faceted ties with Iran are set to move into a higher trajectory, with a spate of significant outcomes emerging from Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s day-long visit to New Delhi. The proposals firmed up during the visit will scale up economic ties and transform the buyer-seller relationship to a genuine energy partnership.

Indian private investors got a shot in the arm with Mr Zarif announcing in New Delhi that Iran is open to Indian private companies investing in the Chabahar Port. Mr Zarif is on his first visit to India after the historic nuclear deal struck between Iran and the P5+1 member countries last month.

“Both India and Iran are eager to engage in this. I believe we will soon start serious work,” Mr Zarif said in New Delhi, adding that the two countries already have an agreement in place. The deal to develop the Chabahar Port was signed between India and Iran in May 2015.

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Iranian counterpart and discussed a host of “forward-looking proposals” that are set the stage for accelerating bilateral relations across the spectrum, which suffered due to a spate of Western sanctions imposed on Tehran to curtail its nuclear programme suspected of developing atomic weapons.

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