0318 GMT January 24, 2021
Chabahar port is Iran’s important southeastern trade gateway, said an Iranian lawmaker, adding the port offers huge investment and trade opportunities.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Malek Fazeli, the head of the assembly of the representatives of the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan in the Iranian Parliament, added Chabahar port not only can help transform the market and economy of the country and the region, but also has the capacity to play an effective role in boosting employment in the province and accelerating its development.
Chabahar is located in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, 645 kilometers off the provincial capital of Zahedan, along the coast of the Sea of Oman.
As one of the most important Iranian ports, Chabahar provides the country with access to international waters through the Indian Ocean. The port has a strategic position and is part of international transport corridors. It is among the most economical routes for exports, imports and goods transit.
With an annual cargo handling capacity of 8.5 million tons, the port is Iran’s new route and gateway for the entry of basic goods.
Commenting on the history of activities in Chabahar, Fazeli said over the past few years, the port’s activities have gained greater momentum.
At present, he added, the port feeds other parts of Iran and has prepared the ground for the entry of the required products into the country.
On investments in Chabahar, the lawmaker noted that once the increase in the port’s activities prepare the ground for return of capital on an international level, lured by the prospect of additional revenues, foreign companies will enter the region to fund the projects.
“We must prepare the ground for investors to generate revenues through their investments in the port and increase the motivation for foreign participation in Chabahar’s development.”
Thanks to efforts by the Iranian government in recent years, Chabahar has turned into a hub, providing regional countries with great trade and economic opportunities. The port has the capacity to offer neighboring states and regional landlocked countries, such as Afghanistan, access to the rest of the world through the sea.
Turning to Sistan and Baluchestan’s special geographical position, Fazeli said the province has 1,600 kilometers of land and sea borders with neighbors.
The province shares borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan, which provides it with the chance to enter these countries’ market of 300 million people, particularly, as they need Iranian products and technologies, he stressed.
The MP added the trade balance with these two states is 70 percent in Iran’s favor.
Highlighting that land borders provide an opportunity to bypass sanctions, he said under the present circumstances, that Iran is under cruel US sanctions, these land borders are of great importance to the country.
The MP noted that Iran’s missing link in trade and economy is the country’s inadequate attention to its land borders.
Such borders help the country defy sanctions and help stimulate employment in the deprived regions located in their proximity, he added.
The imposition of nuclear sanctions against Iran began in the first decade of the third millennium. The sanctions remained in place during the first two years of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s first term in office (2013-17). The sanctions had been imposed under UN Security Council resolutions 1737 (passed in 2006), 1747 (passed in 2007), 1803 (passed in 2008) and 1929 (passed in 2010), all in condemnation of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.
During the tenure of former US president Barack Obama, new sanctions were imposed on Iran, mostly targeting legal persons. However, following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Tehran and P5+1 and the approval of UN Resolution 2231 on July 20, 2015, UN sanctions on Iran were lifted.
However, in May 2018, US President Donald Trump, who has constantly criticized the JCPOA, describing it as the “worst deal ever,” pulled his country out of the agreement and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic. Mainly targeting Iran’s oil and banking sectors, the sanctions aimed to cripple the Iranian economy, a plot which was foiled in light of the Iranian people’s resistance.