Iran’s Chabahar Port in Talks to Extend Connectivity to Armenia, India, and Other Asian Nations
In the ever-expanding global network of trade and connectivity, Iran’s Chabahar Port is emerging as a pivotal player, with discussions underway to facilitate access to Armenia, India, and other Asian nations. According to a report by the Economic Times, the South Caspian region is hopeful for rapid connectivity between the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Chabahar Port without interruptions.
Exploring Chabahar Port
Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mansakan Safaryan, revealed that Armenian representatives recently participated in a high-level meeting in Mumbai, where they discussed the potential use of Chabahar Port. Safaryan stated, “We are in talks to become a part of the port, and we anticipate that the connectivity between Chabahar Port and INSTC will be established soon. Signs suggest that this link could be completed within a year.”
The India-Iran-Armenia Axis
Armenia’s enthusiasm for joining Chabahar Port holds particular significance in view of the trilateral group comprising India, Iran, and Armenia. Notably, during a meeting in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, in April, all three parties engaged in discussions concerning economic projects and regional communication channels.
Strengthening India-Armenia Ties
Armenia is forging new strategic dimensions in its relations with New Delhi. Armenia has proposed connecting Indian businesses to Russia and Europe through Iran, utilizing the Persian Gulf-Black Sea corridor or a new branch of INSTC. Additionally, the Armenian government has developed the ‘Crossroads of Peace’ project, which encompasses communication development among countries in the region, including India, promising substantial benefits for a vast geographical area.
Armenia’s Impressive Development
Despite the conflicts in the region, Armenia has managed to achieve remarkable economic progress. Deputy Foreign Minister Safaryan describes Armenia as a natural partner for India, stating, “We are alike in many respects. Construction is booming in Armenia right now, and we are in discussions with Indian companies. Two major Indian construction companies can implement projects in Armenia.”
Furthermore, the number of Indian professionals working in Armenia has seen a considerable increase, signaling the strengthening of ties between the two nations.
Safaryan remarked, “We are also in discussions to start direct flights between India and Armenia, and we hope that flights can commence next year.”
Collaboration in the Technological Sector
Another area of collaboration is the information technology sector. Both Armenia and India claim a stake in the field of human capital. Safaryan stated that IT professionals from both nations are engaged in productive discussions and are exploring avenues for cooperation.
Concerns for Pakistan
If Armenia’s entry into Chabahar Port becomes a reality, it could pose significant challenges for Pakistan. This is because Pakistan shares close proximity with Azerbaijan, a bitter rival of Armenia. Additionally, Pakistan seeks improved relations with Iran. Consequently, Pakistan may be wary of Armenia gaining entry into Chabahar Port.
In conclusion, the ongoing negotiations for Armenia to become a part of Iran’s Chabahar Port and its increasing collaboration with India hold promise for enhanced regional connectivity and economic growth. However, geopolitical factors in the region may introduce complexities into the process.