Iran seeks equipment for the Chabahar Port rail project

According to a senior Iranian diplomat, Iran’s Port and Maritime Organisation (PMO) recently conveyed to India a request for cranes, tracks, switches and signaling equipment for  Chabahar-Zahedan railway equipment to run the rail line from the Chabahar port to the Afghan border.

The Chabahar Port, being developed with funding from India, as a “golden gateway”, will help India in reaching out to land-locked Afghanistan and central Asia. Along with Bandar Abbas port, it also offers India multimodal connectivity to Europe.

                This enables India to bypass the Pakistan blockade and play a significant role in connecting Central Asia and Afghanistan. New Delhi has already committed $500m to the Chabahar Port, outside of the Gulf of Hormuz – the site of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. The port is significant for India, aiming to parallel China’s growing presence in the region and will give India a strategic foothold in the region.


  • The port 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.
  • The port will open a new strategic route connecting Iran, India, and Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
  • The trilateral agreement on Chabahar port, in one sense, is the Indian answer to CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) presently being developed jointly by China and Pakistan.
  • It will strengthen India’s energy and maritime security.
  • Chabahar port will make transportation of gas from Iran to India much more economical and easier. Not only that, this will provide an alternate sea-land route for the gas pipeline from Iran.
  • Chabahar is the only Iranian port which has direct access to the ocean. Now with its presence at Chabahar, India will be in a better position to tackle the threat being posed by the Chinese ‘String of Pearls’.
  • The port is a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries besides ramping up trade among the three countries in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi. 
  • Integrated development of connectivity infrastructure including ports, road, and rail networks would open up greater opportunities for regional market access and contribute towards the economic integration and benefit of the three countries and the region.
  •  The Chabahar port is also seen as a feeder port to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe, and Central Asia.


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