Blog Iran Opens Chabahar Port For Afghanistan

Iran Opens Chabahar Port For Afghanistan

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Iran Opens Chabahar Port For NATO Supply

Thursday, 10 May 2012 10:42 

Afghan officials from Ministry of Chamber & Commerce speaking on condition of anonymity have said that Afghanistan will be allowed to use Iran's Chabahar port for shipments and trade after the two countries signed an agreement in Kabul last Wednesday. 

It has also been learned that the Chabahar port has been financed by Indian government to maintain Iranian and Indian influence in Afghanistan after US forces leave Afghanistan in 2014. The second purpose, we believe of investment in this port is to counter Gwadar port of Pakistan.

The agreement was signed by Afghanistan's Minister of Commerce and Industries Anwar al Haq Ahady and the Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan Abolfazl Zohrevand.

The endorsement of the pact means Afghan traders including those directly working with American contracting companies will be able to use the southeastern port – Iran's only port with direct access to the sea – for importing and exporting goods. 

The news of signing of this agreement comes as relief to US/NATO official since the closure of NATO supplies from Pakistan has caused massive setback in terms of finance to US/NATO.

Officials said the Chabahar port will help Afghanistan's trade-related transit problems and is likely to boost commercial transactions.

Ahady said that, according to the agreement, the first step involves building a hub near the port for Afghan traders to have a base for trading from.
The allocation of land is around 50 hectares and he expects traders would be able to use it within a year, he said.

"Through the efforts of the Afghan and Iranian officials, Chabahar as a transit route for Afghanistan has become a reality," he added.

A panel of officials from Iran who travelled to Afghanistan for the signing of the agreement said that 
many countries had applied to Chabahar Port for permission to use it, and Afghanistan with the help of Indian Investment had succeeded.

Ambassador Zohrevand welcomed the agreement saying it would help the economic expansion of Afghanistan as the port would provide greater access to Afghanistan into world markets.

"The outcome of this agreement is not only positive for Afghanistan and Iran relations, we also expect it to help the joint cooperation of Afghan and Iran traders so they can expand through cooperation to the Middle East and Asia," he said.

The agreement eases the pressure on the US-backed Afghan Government to rely on trade routes through Pakistan, as relations between the two countries have witnessed significant restrains in recent months.

It also signals the warming of relations between Iran and Afghanistan. Only last week the pair endorsed an agreement to allow for the transfer of prisoners sentenced in the other's country to serve their sentence in their native land.



A Journalist wrote the following heralding the new great route for Afghanistan:---

"The 218-km road connecting Delaram (on the Kandahar-Herat highway) to Zaranj, on the border with Iran has been completed.
It will provide landlocked Afghanistan an alternative access to the sea, the Iranian port of Chahbahar, allowing it to break free from Pakistan's traditional stranglehold.

it remains to be seen if Iran will prove to be a better neighbour than Pakistan.
For Afghanistan, this is an opportunity to regain better access to the Indian market that it lost in 1947. For India, it is an opportunity to regain better access to Central Asia that it too lost in 1947."

The same writer then produces the below twit of a map to support his highly utopian assertions:--

Unfortunately its not as simple as that .The new route passes through some 218 km of ideal ambush country in Afghanistan and some 600 km of ideal ambush country in Iran.

Convoys would require heavy escorts and above all increase Irans clout in case the route is successful.

The route will expose ten times more vehicles carrying supplies as compared to the Pakistan route.

The threat to NATO communications in Pakistan is actually temporary and its possible that its a veiled protest with Pakistani governments involvement against US drone attacks which have made more enemies for USA without eliminating any of its real foes.

The USA needs to understand that Taliban are no longer internationally isolated.Its in the interest of all regional countries to ensure that the USA fails in Afghanistan.So the Taliban is no longer a fatherless child.They have many resourceful fathers now.The developing Chinese and Russian perceptions that if USA suceeds in Afghanistan it would be a fatal blow to both.

I drew the attached map below to illustrate the point:--