India’s ambassador to Iran visits Chabahar port on his first visit outside of Tehran

Indian Ambassador to Iran Rudra Gaurav Shresth paid a visit to the port of Chabahar on Friday, marking his first visit to the port since taking office as envoy.

The visit comes shortly after he presented his credentials to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in the first week of July.

“Chabahar is an important project for India and it shows that the ambassador decided to visit Chabahar on his first official visit outside of Tehran,” a source said.

During his first visit to Chabahar Port, the Ambassador interacted with several senior port officials.

The Director General of the Port, Engineer Asgari, the Governor of Chabahar, Dr. Sepahi and India Ports Global Limited Managing Director Sunil Mukundan and senior port officials also spoke to the envoy.

Ambassador Rudra Gaurav Shresth is a career diplomat and a member of the Indian Foreign Service. In May 2023 he took over the post of Indian Ambassador to Iran.

Earlier in his career, Shresth worked in the Indian diplomatic missions in France, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Singapore and Bhutan. He was also India’s High Commissioner for Mozambique from 2016 to 2019.

Chabahar Port is strategic for India and the country is gradually expanding Chabahar Port. The country is developing the first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar. The port’s capacity will reach 8.5 to 8.5 million tons (MT) by the end of the first phase.

In May 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a deal in Tehran for the Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar, including an investment of US$85 million to purchase equipment for the port.

Recently, at the 23rd Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit, Prime Minister Modi remarked that after Iran’s membership in the SCO, SCO members can work to maximize utilization of Chabahar Port, the bureau’s official press release said of the prime minister.

Chabahar Port is a seaport in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan province on the Gulf of Oman. It serves as Iran’s only deep sea port and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti. Its geographic proximity to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) gives it the potential to become one of the major trading hubs.

“The North-South International Transport Corridor can serve as a safe and efficient route for landlocked countries in Central Asia to access the Indian Ocean. We should strive to realize its full potential,” the prime minister said, according to the press release.

He also mentioned the importance of better connectivity. “Strong connectivity is critical to the progress of any region. Better connectivity not only encourages mutual trade, but also encourages mutual trust. In these efforts, however, it is important to uphold the fundamental principles of the SCO Charter, particularly respecting the sovereignty and regional integrity of member states,” the press release said.

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