Agreement signed over 1st phase of key port project


During a visit to New Delhi, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has signed a deal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for management of the Chabahar port in southern Iran.

The two companies have long planned the accord, seen as a key arrangement for trade links between central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

The initiative also has political implications for the region, displayed by Iranian State media on Saturday in their report of “a move that could enable India to dodge Pakistan and reach markets in Afghanistan, Central Asia. and beyond”.

Iran is leasing operational control of the first phase of the port development to India for 18 months. Modi also emphasized on Saturday that India is looking for construction of a rail link between Chabahar and Zahedan in southeastern Iran to fulfil trade potential.

Rouhani said, “We are ready to sign bilateral and trilateral agreements to turn the transit route passing through Chabahar into a strategic pathway serving the reinforcement of regional ties.”

Iran’s Road and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi said New Delhi will invest up to $87 million in the initial Chabahar phase, part of a total investment of $2 billion in Iranian port and rail projects.

Rouhani and Modi also signed agreements covering taxation, extradition, and the agricultural and medical sectors.

State Media Attacks Academic-Environmentalist Who Died in Prison Custody

Iranian State broadcaster IRIB has attacked Iranian-Canadian academic and environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami, who died under interrogation in prison earlier this month.

IRIB broadcast a 7-minute video repeating the claims of regime officials, without evidence, that Seyed-Emami used his environmental research to spy for the CIA and Israel’s Mossad.

Seyed-Emami, a professor at Tehran’s Imam Sadegh University and the Managing Director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, was seized on January 24. His family were notified on February 9 that he had died in custody, with officials insisting that he committed suicide.

Despite threats not to speak to the media, the family are publicly questioning the official version of events.

Seven other staff of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation are still behind bars.