Chabahar, located in the province of Sistan-Balouchistan in southeast Iran, benefits from highly advantageous and strategic assets that would make it greatly competitive in terms of trade, transit, tourism and industry once the development project is fully carried out.
After the completion of all five phases of Shahid Beheshti Port Development project, the ports capacity is expected to reach approximately 80 million tons per year; a feat which will have many positive outcomes on national and regional levels.
Chabahar makes it possible to have a viable, cost-effective connection between the countries in the Indian Peninsula, Persian Gulf-region, Central Asia, Russia and Europe and can contribute to Iran’s economy.
This opportunity for connecting to multiple potential economic partners makes Chabahar port equally important on a regional and international level as well. Furthermore, this project is significant for the development of land-locked countries such as Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia.
Chabahar is Iran’s only oceanic port and therefore has a significant role in securing Iran’s trade and security. Iran has a multifaceted approach to developing this port, including infrastructure, trade and industry; as well as paying attention to cultural underpinnings that make Chabahar unique.
This new approach also taps into fostering regional cooperation, visible in Iran-India relations in recent years where both countries have focused on development and mutual ties. These efforts are clearly demonstrated in the Chabahar Agreement and in India’s commitment to invest in Iran’s transport projects.
Emphasizing on cooperation and regional development, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development has been quoted as saying that Port of Chabahar can be beneficial for all nations in the region (including Central Asian and neighboring countries) and Iran does not seek rivalry or obstructing other countries’ interests. Chabahar Port can have a constructive interaction and cooperation with Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, for instance.
Bearing in mind that “development” is one of the outcomes of communication and connection, special attention should be paid to all modes of communication, including transport. For this reason, it is important that Chabahar benefit from rail transport as well. Therefore, connecting Chabahar Port to existing domestic rail networks through Zahedan and to Asia and Europe rail networks is necessary and being carried out simultaneously. The Chabahar-Zahedan 100-kilometers-route is estimated to require millions of dollars of investment, which makes attracting domestic and foreign investors a priority.
Furthermore, constructing roads connecting Chabahar to Jask and Bandar-Abbas ports as well as Khorramshahr and other cities and ports in Southern Iran is on the agenda as well.
Chabahar Port is expected to become a “gateway” for economic development in the long run by being put on the international trade map; facilitating a range of activities including production, transit and export, transport and logistics.
The significance of Chabahar Port for regional cooperation and development cannot go unnoticed. Chabahar Port Development project can go beyond trade and infrastructure and bring nations and civilizations closer together.