-Alim Yarmohammadi said on Saturday that Iran would welcome Russia’s plans for having an active presence in Chabahar for trade purposes although insisting that nothing had changed with regards to Iran-India partnership for development of the port.
“Iran welcomes Russia’s economic activity (in) and transit of goods through Chabahar but that does not mean a substitution of current investors with new ones,” Yarmohammadi told the official news service of the Iranian parliament.
The lawmaker, who represents Zahedan, the capital of the Iranian province where Chabahar is located, elaborated that India had no plan to cease its large-scale development activity along the coast of the Sea of Oman.
“The issue of India’s withdrawal from investment in Chabahar is untrue and (a) rumor and the two sides (Iran and India) would carry out their commitments in this field,” said Yarmohammadi.
The comments are the first to come from an Iranian official in response to unconfirmed reports suggesting that Russia has reached a deal with Iran to lease two ports of Chabahar and Bushehr, located in southwest of Iran, to beef up its military presence along the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
Iran’s development plans for Chabahar gained a fresh momentum in 2016 when India announced it is ready to contribute to the project with the aim of easing its trade access to Afghanistan and countries in the Central Asia region.
Indian companies are currently constructing five terminals in Chabahar while contributing to a major railway project connecting the port city to Zahedan.