As per an interim pact, Iran will handover the strategic Chabahar port to an Indian firm within a month for operation, Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Abbas Akhoundi, said on Thursday (6 September), reports NDTV.
“Now, we are ready to handover the port (Chabahar) to the Indian company, " Akhoundi told PTI while attending the Mobility Summit by NITI Aaayog on the government's invitation.
After a meeting with Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, he said, "We have already moved one step forward. We should introduce a banking channel to India, which we have already done, which, fortunately, has been formally accepted by the Indian side”.
"The Indian side has investments in Chabahar port and we are moving towards utilisation of the facility," Akhoundi said, adding that the handing over of the port should be done "during one month. We have done everything".
The Chabahar port is easily accessible from India's western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar Port located at distance of around 80 km from Chabahar.
The Chabahar port is being considered as a gateway to golden opportunities for trade, by India, Iran and Afghanistan, with central Asian countries, besides ramping up trade among the three countries in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi.
Akhoundi also said that Iran welcomes Indian firms developing the giant Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf nation. "The Indian side is very keen to invest there. We are still to receive the project proposal," he said.
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