Iran launches commercial port in Oman Sea

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Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the first phase of the Chabahar Port in the presence of representatives from India, Afghanistan and several other countries of the region.

The Chabahar port is likely to ramp up trade among India, Afghanistan and Iran in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi for trade with the two countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed a pact in May this year to develop the Chabahar port and other related infrastructure.

Adding more values to the port, the Chabahar port - which is located in Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province - has two docks, an worldwide airport, and Iran's Navy and Air Force bases.

India has committed to the $500 million to the Chabahar port.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during talks in New Delhi last month said America would not stand in the way of projects that help the Iranian people.

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Chabahar provides India with an easy land-sea linkup with Afghanistan.

"Reiterating the importance of Chabahar as a hub for regional economic connectivity and their commitment to work towards this objective, the Ministers commended the joint efforts of the three countries in the recent successful transit of wheat from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar", it said.

According to the Indian statement, at the trilateral meeting, the Indian, Iranian and Afghan Ministers "agreed to further intensify efforts on issues concerning regional connectivity and focusing on Chabahar port development under the Trilateral Transit and Trade Agreement". "We should go after competition", he said. "It was also chose to convene an expert level meeting of senior officials of the three countries at the earliest", the statement said.

According to the Indian foreign ministry, minister of state for shipping Pon Radhakrishnan represented India at the inauguration of the first phase of the Chabahar port project, known as the Shahid Beheshti port.

Ahead of the inauguration, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Iranian counterpart Zarif in Tehran on Saturday, during a surprise stopover on her way back from a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Russian Federation, and discussed the port project among other issues.

A railway route is also under construction from Chabahar to Zahedan (centre city of Sistan-Baluchestan Province) to boost the capacity of the new strategic transit route.