Iran says it has launched the first passenger terminal at its only oceanic port thus making it possible to directly host visitors from Pakistan, India, Oman and beyond.
The terminal at Chabahar Port which has a total capacity of 400 passengers per day was inaugurated on Wednesday when a ship arrived from Oman’s Muscat carrying over two dozen people.
Mohammad Saeidnejad, the managing director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, told IRNA that a passenger vessel will make trips once every week between Iran and Oman until Chabahar passenger terminal is fully operational.
Saeidnejad added that Iran will also soon establish separate routes to other ports of the region including those belonging to Pakistan.
Chabahar is located in the Gulf of Oman on the border with Pakistan. It is the closest and best access point of Iran to the Indian Ocean.
It currently has a capacity of above 2.5 million tons a year which is expected to increase to as high as 6 million tons a year once developed.
India is presently developing the port under a tripartite deal signed with Iran and Afghanistan. The country has committed $500 million to the project, including for construction of two terminals and cargo berths.
The Chabahar Port will allow Indian goods to reach Afghanistan via the Iranian port without crossing Pakistan’s territory.
Japan and China have also voiced interest in participating in the development of the strategic port.
Iran’s primary southern port is currently Bandar Abbas which is a multipurpose facility built to receive both cargo as well as passenger vessels.