Iran handed over Chabahar to India

Iran handed over Chabahar

These days, among the Iranian government’s newspapers and websites, one subject that makes a frequent headline for the majority of the economic and environmental articles, is about giving away national wealth as well as natural assets within various regions of Iran.

Iran handed over Chabahar

The Chabahar seaport in Sistan and Baluchestan Province facilitates India’s access to Central Asia and Afghanistan. This port is of great importance because of its strategic location and it counts as the closest route to access trans-boundary waters by the Central Asian states including Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. The Chabahar port is also strategic for transporting and shipping oil.

On September 7 the state-run Tasnim News Agency reported Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Abbas Akhundi, saying that within the next month Iran will hand over Chabahar’s strategic port facility to an Indian company under a temporary contract.

This Iranian Minister, who had traveled to India, also commented that Iran is ready to hand over the Chabahar Port’s authority to an Indian port company in the form of a temporary agreement stretching to a year and a half.

Abbas Akhundi expressed hope that, amid US sanctions on Iran’s oil trade, a way to continue oil sales to India will be achieved.

The Chabahar provisional authority has been handed over to the Indian company under the BOT contract signed in 2016. This contract had meant that India could proceed with Port development projects as well as constructional operations on Chabahar.

So since that time, there was word of handing over the port to India. This did raise some anger even by some Iranian parliamentarians who had called it a “national give away”.

Ali Kurd, a parliamentarian in Iran’s Majlis had said last year that handing over the Bandar-Chabahar to the Indians would end up in giving most of Iran’s profit within strategic areas to foreigners.

This year, and especially with the new round of oil sanctions by the US, it seems that the Iranian regime is doing much to circumvent the sanctions in any way and sell its oil to India and other buyers.

The estate-run Tasnim News Agency precisely used the term “hand-over” and had no shame to print out such a term on a government website.

These kind of assignments may appear similar to conventional contracts and partnerships that are common in every country. But the result of such cooperation should be an economic growth.

In the words of the regime’s representatives, these types of transferals give foreigners much of Iran’s proceeds of free zones as well as the country’s exceptional economy and make unemployment unprecedented.

The Iranian regime has given India this strategic port while its inhabitants have the lowest water accessibility per capita in the country. The Sistan and Baluchistan Province has been generally droughty for nearly two decades.

Mugan Plain

Mugan Plain is the name of Iran’s wealthiest landmass in the north of Ardebil Province, located on the southern coast of the Aras River and west of the Caspian Sea.

The Tabnak governmental website stated on 28 July that the Mugan Agro-Industry Company, the “largest Middle East enterprise that has the most fertile and high-quality land,” was priced at 2,700 billion Tomans in 2015, but was sold for 700 billion Tomans. This means a loss of 1,000 billion Tomans.

The Mugan Agro-Industry beholds 63,000 hectares in area and contains fruit gardens, large animal husbandry complex, sugar factory, dairy factory, fruit processing plant and several other production units.

Interestingly yet, is that the buyer remains unknown and has been kept confidential until now. By previous experience, selling out such high portions of national enterprises have always been under the control of government structures and gangs and even executive leaders.

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