Tehran has finally formally handed over the Shahid Beheshti port at Chabahar to state-owned India Ports Global Ltd. The US did waiver sanctions for Chahbahar ostensibly for crucial Afghan humanitarian relief.
Trade restrictions on Iran and limited initial opportunities in Afghanistan mean India has really nothing to do after being handed over control. Chabahar, however, is full of possibilities. It is connected with the multimodal International North-South Transport Corridor and will serve as a gateway to Central Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe.
Land route access through this port would greatly reduce Pakistan's influence (with Kabul) and that of Beijing in the general region. India hopes that with land access, trade via Chabahar can jump from $2 billion now to $70 billion in just a few years. But Tehran will claim its pound of flesh. Everything will now depend on what the US does.
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