India takes over Chabahar port operations, new route to bypass Pakistan

India on Monday formally took over operations at Chabahar port in Iran, giving a major boost to the country’s efforts to support war-torn Afghanistan, people familiar with developments said.

New Delhi’s efforts to develop the port, which allows India to ship supplies to Afghanistan while bypassing Pakistan, received a fillip recently when Washington exempted Chabahar from Iran-related sanctions in November.

Iran formally handed over the port to India during a first meeting of the follow-up committee for the implementation of the Chabahar Agreement between Iran, Afghanistan, and India in the port city Tehran. The Indian side at the meeting was led by joint secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) Deepak Mittal of the external affairs ministry, while the Iranian team was led by Mohammad Ali Hassanzadeh, the deputy head of the Ports and Maritime Organisation, the people said.

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