CHABAHAR PORT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     9th November 2023        
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Context: Armenia is in recently initiated talks to join Iran's Chabahar Port as it seeks better trade access to India and other Asian nations, according to the country's deputy foreign minister.

  • The South Caucasian country is hoping for early linkages between the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Chabahar Port for seamless connectivity.

Chabahar Port

  • Meaning: Chabahar is made of the Persian words Chahar meaning four, and bahar meaning spring. 
  • Chabahar City is also home to Iran’s only deep seaport with direct access to the ocean.
  • Location: Off the Gulf of Oman in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan & is the only Iranian port with direct access to the ocean.
  • Consist of two ports: Chabahar Port consists of two separate ports called Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti. 
  • Significance: Important for its fishery sector and will act as an important trade center connecting South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. 

Significance for India

  • Gateway to Central Asia and beyond: The port gives access to the energy-rich Persian Gulf nations' southern coast & Central Asia and India can bypass Pakistan with the Chabahar port becoming functional.
  • Access to Afghanistan: The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) allowed India to trade with the outside world via Iran, but India could not do so with Afghanistan (not a member of INSTC) in spite of being a very close neighbor.
  • Strategic Importance: Due to its location in the Gulf of Oman and at the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz and enables Iran to have direct entry to the Indian Ocean.
  • Chabahar Port is also quite near the Gwadar Port of Pakistan being developed by China.
  • It will also counter the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
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