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 Wednesday, January 3 2024 15:34
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Armenia can freely use Iranian ports of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas - Iranian Ambassador

Armenia can freely use Iranian ports of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas - Iranian Ambassador

ArmInfo. Armenia can freely use the Iranian ports of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas. Iran's Ambassador to Armenia Mehdi Sobhani stated  in an interview with PTA, touching on the prospects of Armenia joining international transport routes passing through Iran.

"There are no obstacles to this, and all conditions are provided. As for the Persian Gulf-Black Sea agreement, some countries have signed it, and some have not yet. The agreement must be signed by all parties, and after that we will be able to begin its practical implementation. But the key thing here is that in the context of the "Persian Gulf - Black Sea", Armenia is in the center of the "North-South" route," the ambassador emphasized, adding that Iran is ready to assist Armenia in every possible way in strengthening communications through the INSTC (International North-South Transport Corridor) .

At the same time, the diplomat said that the possibility of sending an Armenian delegation to the port of Chabahar in the future is being considered to reach mutual agreement on the existing issues of Armenia's participation in the port development project.

When asked to clarify whether there is data on the possible timing of signing an agreement on the Persian Gulf-Black Sea project, the diplomat noted that it is difficult to say anything, since Azerbaijan and Georgia have not yet signed the agreement. At the same time, Sobhani is confident that there is no need to wait for the document to be signed by all states, and it is necessary to begin practical steps, then maybe the issue will move from a dead point. He also found it difficult to mention the reasons why the abovementioned countries have not yet signed the document.

Regarding the decision of Armenia and Iran to nullify  road tolls, the diplomat expressed his belief that this decision plays a huge role in encouraging drivers to use Armenian territory to reach Georgia and the Black Sea.  "It is very important for them at what price they can transport their cargo to the Black Sea. Some Iranian drivers are against using the relatively long route through Azerbaijan to reach Georgia and the Black Sea, since more affordable fees and fuel prices are provided here.

The route through Armenia is shorter, and if we can reduce duties and fees and come to a mutual understanding on these issues that drivers face, then cargo traffic on this route will increase dramatically, Armenia's income will increase, and it will become a regional transport hub. Under normal conditions, our trucks, following the Armenian route, reach the Black Sea two days earlier than along the Azerbaijani route. So if we can reduce these tariffs, it will have a very significant impact on increasing the volume of freight traffic between the two countries, which is in the interests of both countries," Sobhani said.

 Let us recall that Iran  intends to connect its ports in the Gulf of Oman (port of Chabahar)  and the Persian Gulf (ports of Bandar Abbas, Imam Khomeini and  Khorramshahr) in the south of the country with ports of the Black and  Caspian Seas through the Iranian railway network. Connecting the Gulf  to the Black Sea will connect four key sea basins, namely the Gulf of  Oman, the Caspian Sea (Iran-Azerbaijan), the Black Sea (Georgia,  Bulgaria) and the Mediterranean Sea (Greece). In the South Caucasus,  Armenia is the only country that is a member of the EAEU and  therefore serves as a direct bridge between Iran and the bloc, which  clearly highlights the importance of the international transport and  transit corridor of the Persian Gulf- Black Sea for Iran.  Back in March 2021, the Indian Ambassador to Iran stated that the  country was going to include Armenia in the North-South transport  corridor being established through the Iranian port of Chabahar.  In  August of the same year, then Acting Foreign Minister Armen Grigoryan  said at the Indian Embassy in Armenia,  that Yerevan was closely  following India's active involvement in the North-South international transport corridor project and India's interest in the development of the Chabahar port, and was ready to participate in the implementation of this program.  In May of this year, by decision of the Prime Minister, an  interdepartmental working group was established in the Republic of  Armenia, which should consider the issues of launching an  international multimodal high-speed route and carrying out operator  activities in the Iranian port of Chabahar. In June, the head of the  Ministry of Economy Vahan Kerobyan said that Armenia could become an  operator in the Iranian port of Chabahar

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