Iran’s regime has hailed the opening of a vital port in the south of the country.

President Hassan Rouhani officially opened the first phase of the Shahid Beheshti Port, in Chabahar in southeast Iran on the Persian Gulf, on Sunday.

“Through the Port, goods are sent to the neighboring countries within a much shorter span of time and with a more reasonable cost,” Rouhani said..

Iran and India are developing Chabahar for a route between the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. The project is also a political counterweight to both Saudi Arabia, Iran’s rival, and Pakistan.

Rouhani also put the port in the context of his approach to detach European countries from the US, saying Chabahar will connect the Islamic Republic to Europe in the future.

Officials say the port now has an annual 8.5 million-ton capacity for loading and unloading of ships, with 80 million tons when all phases are completed.