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Iran to attend next international meeting on Syria

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Tehran: Iran will attend the upcoming international talks on the future of Syria to be held in the Austrian capital of Vienna on November 12, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, Press TV reported.

The Iranian foreign ministry official asked the participants in the talks to adopt a “realistic” approach to help resolve the Syrian crisis.

Political means and national dialogue will help the people of Syria to decide their own future democratically, he said.

On November 2, Amir-Abdollahian criticized what he called Saudi Arabia’s ‘unconstructive’ role in the October international talks on Syria, threatening to walk out of the talks should the next meeting be ‘unproductive’.

At the meeting in Vienna, “some countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, played negative and unconstructive roles, as they could not provide a logic for their positions vis-a-vis Syria’s conflicts,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

“If our assessment of the next talks is positive, we will continue to attend the next meetings,” he said. Otherwise, if the negotiations will be “a show” and if the rights of the Syrian people to decide on the future of their own country are ignored, Iran would pull out of the talks, he added.

Iran, who participated for the first time in the talks on Syria, said that it would not accept pressure for the ouster of President Al-Assad under the pretext of solving the Syria crisis.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said that the international community should unite against terrorism in the region, particularly in Syria.

The task of the international community is to fight terrorism in Syria and to leave the future of the Arab State to the Syrian people, he said.

Tehran has emerged as a staunch regional ally of the Assad government in Syria’s long-lasting conflict, saying it would keep its “military advisers” in Syria to help the Syrian government in its struggle against militants.

(IANS)

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.