- Although US was not quite happy , India went ahead with the signing of an agreement with Iran for the development of the strategically important Chabahar port.
- The MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed after the talks between the two sides.
- India intends to lease two berths at Chabahar for 10 years. The port will be developed through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which will invest USD 85.21 million to convert the berths into a container terminal and a multi-purpose cargo terminal.
- It will give India sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
- The port will be used to ship crude oil and urea, saving India transportation costs.
- The port would cut transport costs and freight time for India to Central Asia and the Gulf by about a third.
- From Chahbahar port using the existing Iranian road network, a link up to Zaranj in Afghanistan and then using the Zaranj-Delaram road constructed by India in 2009, access to Afghanistan’s Garland Highway can be made.
- This would establish road access to four of the major cities of Afghanistan — Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif.