The Government of India has commenced commercial operations in parts of the Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar in Iran, by taking over the terminal area, cargo handling equipment and the India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ) office.

The development has enabled India to operate a port outside its border for the first time.

IPGCFZ began its commercial activity by receiving a Cyprus-registered bulk carrier MV Macheras, which carried 72,458t of corn as cargo.

The beginning of operations at Chabahar Port has been carried out within the framework of the Chabahar trilateral agreement.

With the opening of the port activities, India is expected to boost regional cooperation and joint efforts to support landlocked Afghanistan.

“India is expected to boost regional cooperation and joint efforts to support landlocked Afghanistan.”

In a statement, the Government of India said: “India started interacting with Iran on Chabahar Port around 2003, but a major push was received in the second half of 2014, resulting in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries for the development of Chabahar Port in May 2015.

“This MoU translated into a formal ten-year contract for equipping and operating the Chabahar Port, which was executed on 23 May 2016 during Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to Tehran.”

In order to implement the ten-year contract, both India and Iran formulated an interim period contract in February last year and eventually signed a formal short term contract in May.

In November, India secured a waiver from the US Government to further develop the Chabahar Port.