Iran invites Pakistan to join port project with India

ISLAMABAD – Iran's foreign minister has wrapped up a trip to Pakistan in which he made a surprise offer to let Islamabad take part in a major port project partly funded by Pakistan's archrival India.


India has helped to expand and develop Iran's Arabian Sea port of Chabahar as part of efforts to set up a trade link to Afghanistan

and Central Asia that would bypass Pakistan. But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Pakistan's Geo TV late Tuesday that Iran was open to participation in the project by Pakistan and China, both of which India views as rivals.


There was no immediate response from India, which has committed up to $500 million for the development of the Chabahar port along with associated roads and rail lines. In November, New Delhi shipped its first cargo of wheat to Afghanistan through the Iranian port.


Zarif, who arrived on Monday, met with senior officials and praised Pakistan for the "timely" sharing of intelligence, which he said allowed Iranian border guards to kill two would-be bombers. The restive area along the border has been the scene of several attacks by armed groups as well as drug smugglers.


First published: 03.14.18, 13:00