Iranian envoy says Chabahar port not a rival to Gwadar

ISLAMABAD: The Iranian ambassador said on Friday that the Chabahar port would not turn out to be an enemy port to Gwadar but would serve as a ‘friend’ port.


He was speaking at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad where he was invited for a guest lecture.

Iranian ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost said that some countries were against the Chabahar port. “But the Chabahar port would not function as an enemy port to Pakistan’s Gwadar port.”

This week Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the historic Chabahar deal with Iran and Afghanistan. India agreed to invest $500 million in the Chabahar port, a move which would enable it to have better trade routes to Afghanistan, something which has made Pakistan uncomfortable.

The ambassador added that both are sister ports, and Chabahar port authorities would extend cooperation to Gwadar.

“The deal is not finished. We are waiting for new members. Pakistan, our brotherly neighbours and China, a great partner of the Iranians and a good friend of Pakistan, are both welcome,” said the envoy.

“India was a good friend during the sanctions, the only country to import oil from us during sanctions.”

“We are ready for any rapprochement between regional countries which directly impact the interests of the people of our countries. Trade and business is business, and politics is politics. We should separate them.”

Honerdoost reiterated that trade and business is a key element to bringing peace to the region, and that Iran has friendly trade relations with its neighbours and regional powers, including Turkey, China and Russia.

“Iran has undergone the burden of sanctions and international isolation. After the P5+1 deal, Iran is invigorated.”