Chabahar Port

Chabahar Port


Why in the News? 

The United States warned of “the potential risk of sanctions” against “anyone considering business deals with Iran” after India and Iran signed a ‘”long-term main contract” for the development of Shahid Beheshti Port Terminal in Chabahar, Iran. The US said any country considering business deals with Iran “needs to be aware of the potential risks”.

India signed a 10-year agreement with Iran to develop and manage the Chabahar port, marking a pivotal development in bilateral ties between the two nations. The agreement replaces an initial pact in 2016 that covered India’s operations at the Shahid Beheshti terminal of Chabahar port, which has been renewed annually. 

About Chabahar Port:

  • Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman.
  • The port is located in the Sistan-Balochistan province.
  • It offers a direct trade route for Iran with the Indian Ocean, bypassing the crowded and strategically sensitive Strait of Hormuz. 
  • The port consists of two separate ports, Shahid Beheshti and Shahid Kalantari. 
  • The Chabahar port is a crucial trade gateway for India, Iran, and Afghanistan with Central Asia.
  • In May 2016, India, Iran, and Afghanistan agreed to develop Chabahar’s Shahid Beheshti Terminal.
  • It is India’s first foreign port project. 
  • The port would enable India to bypass Pakistan, access Afghanistan, and ultimately Central Asia.
  • The distance from Kandla port in Gujarat to Chabahar port is 550 Nautical Miles, and from Chabahar to Mumbai, it extends to 786 Nautical Miles. 

Importance of Chahabar port for India:

India has invested significantly in developing Chabahar Port to enhance connectivity with Afghanistan and Central Asia while circumventing Pakistan. The port has been central to developing the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road routes for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe, and Central Asia. India, Iran, and Afghanistan have also agreed to grant preferential treatment and tariff reductions at Chabahar to facilitate trade.   

Chabahar POrt is of significant strategic and economic importance to India. Here are the key aspects: 

  1. Chabahar Port is located on the southeastern coast of Iran, along the Gulf of Oman. It provides India with direct access to the Arabian Sea, bypassing Pakistan and allowing India to access Afghanistan and Central Asia directly. This reduces India’s dependence on Pakistan for trade with these regions and mitigates geopolitical risks.
  2. The port is a crucial link in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), facilitating India’s trade with Afghanistan and the broader Central Asian region. This connectivity is vital for India’s strategic and economic interests, as it opens up new markets and trade routes. 
  3. Chabahar Port can contribute to India’s energy security strategy. It provides a potential transit point for the import of natural gas and oil from Iran and other Central Asian countries, contributing to India’s energy diversification efforts. 
  4. By developing Chabahar Port, India strengthens its diplomatic and economic ties with Iran and Afghanistan. This enhances India’s regional influence and counterbalances China’s presence, mainly through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar Port in Pakistan. 
  5. Chabahar Port enables India to send humanitarian aid, such as wheat, to Afghanistan, showcasing its support for the Afghan people. 


The development of Chabahar Port marks a crucial geopolitical and economic venture, poised to transform the landscape of regional commerce and strengthen the bonds among Iran, India, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Serving as a pivotal element of India’s agenda to boost regional connectivity, commerce, and its clout, Chabahar Port provides a vital access point to Afghanistan and Central Asia, circumventing geopolitical hurdles and playing a key role in furthering India’s extensive economic and strategic ambitions in the region. 


Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 15th May 2024


Prelims Practice Question:

Q. Consider the following statements about the Chabahar Port: 

  1. The port consists of two separate ports, Shahid Beheshti and Shahid Kalantari. 
  2. It is India’s first foreign port project.   

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. Only 1

B. Only 2

C. Both 1 and 2

D. Neither 1 nor 2



Q. What is Chabahar Port’s strategic significance for India in terms of trade and geopolitics? What environmental concerns are associated with its development, and how are they being addressed?

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