Iran is ready to hand over the strategic Chabahar Port to an Indian company within one month for operations according to the terms of the interim agreement signed by the two countries, Iran's minister of roads and urban development, Abbas Akhoundi, announced in New Delhi following a meeting with his counterpart, Nitin Gadkari.
"Now we are ready just to hand over the Chabahar Port to the Indian company to operate," Abbas Akhoundi told the media.
Iran will hand over Chabahar Port to India for operation and maintenance purposes within a month: Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) September 7, 2018
Read @ANI Story| https://t.co/i4v2fZkJRz pic.twitter.com/Hv1hzXmHaW
Met Mr. Abbas Akhoundi, Hon'ble Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Iran. We discussed about progress of Chabahar port development & issues related to bilateral cooperation. pic.twitter.com/3S1Q3wSHdt— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) September 6, 2018
Abbas also said that Iran's Central Bank has approved the banking channel introduced by India to ease trade and investment.
"We have already moved one step forward. We should introduce a banking channel to India, and fortunately it has been approved by Iran's Central Bank," Abbas Akhoundi added.
Akhoundi stressed strengthening of India — Iran cooperation amid reports of American intervention in India's oil imports from Iran.
"India and Iran's relationship is essential for the region and we are looking at ways to work together. The US is an outsider in the region, so the insiders should come together and continue their friendship," the visiting Iranian minister was quoted by the ANI as saying.
The Chabahar Port in the Sistan-Balochistan province in the energy-rich nation's southern coast is easily accessible from India's western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar Port, located at a distance of around 80 km from Chabahar.