DP World in talks for port operations in Iran

Chabahar Beluchistan FlickrIran's Chabahar port is of strategic importance to India, and efforts are on to turn it into a deep-water port. (Image source: Beluchistan/Flickr)Ports operator DP World has announced that it is considering operating a number of ports in Iran

The company is interested in Iranian port operations on the Caspian Sea, in the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Chairman of the Dubai-based company, Ahmed bin Sulayem, had visited Iran in early July, before the nuclear deal with world powers had been struck. During a conference call last week, he said, “Iran has a good land bridge of rail that will connect the Silk Route from China to Europe. With our ports in the Gulf, we need to go into Iran.”

Sulayem added that the plans are contingent on demand from customers and there is no dollar value yet on the company’s possible investment in developing port facilities on Iran’s Caspian Sea coast.

Iran’s Chabahar port in the Gulf of Oman can be especially lucrative. Partially built by India about 20 years ago, efforts are on between India and Iran to turn it into a deep-water port. That will cut India’s distance of trade routes to Central Asia, Russia and Europe by 40 per cent, compare to the current route through the Suez Canal, and will also allow Indian ships to circumvent Pakistan to reach land-locked areas in Central Asia, as well as to compete better with China. The two countries signed an agreement in 2002 to work together for the development of the port.

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