India to upgrade Chabahar port in Iran
In a move to expand its strategic presence in the region, India will upgrade the crucial Chabahar port in the Islamic republic of Iran.
Some say that the move is significant as the port will provide an access point to land-locked Afghanistan. A team of experts from India will soon visit the port, which is located on the Iran-Pakistan border facing the Arabia Sea, to determine the level of investment needed for the up gradation project.
Some estimates shows that the country might invest about $100 million for the up-gradation of the port. India's decision to upgrade the port was conveyed to Iran by Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid in Tehran today. There were concerns in India since China got involved in the Gwadar port in the region that located lessthan100 km from the Chabahar port in Iran in order to gain access to Afghanistan.
Easy access to the Chahbahar port will be crucial for India as Pakistan does not allow transit facility from India to Afghanistan. Indian government is also looking to bring a balance in trade with Iran as out of the total US $15 billion in trade between the two countries, Indian exports account for just $2.5 billion.
Iran exports oil to India and India now believes that there is a large scope for export of pharmaceuticals and food to the Islamic country.