Will Iran replace Pakistan in Afghan transit trade?

While the United States is creating war hype, India is using Iranian port, Chabahar as transit route to send goods to Afghanistan. According to an IRNA report, India’s first consignment of rice to Afghanistan which is due to be delivered through India-Iran-Afghanistan trade route arrived at Chabahar Port.

According to Khan Jan Alokozay, First Vice President, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), it is the first of its kind and more shipments will follow in the near future.

India launched a trade route to Afghanistan via Iran through shipping its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan in October last year, bypassing longtime rival Pakistan. 

Also in February, the Afghanistan-Iran-India trade corridor in which Afghanistan will export goods to India through Iran’s southeastern Chabahar Port was inaugurated.

Afghanistan’s first 570 ton export cargo included 200 tons of grains and 370 tons of talc stone which arrived in Chabahar port late February.

Afghanistan is planning to boost is exports revenue to US$2 billion this year and according to Afghan officials, a significant share of the country’s exports will be through Iran’s Chabahar Port.

In 2016, Iran, India and Afghanistan decided to jointly establish a trade route for land-locked Central Asian countries.

India has committed US$500 million to Chabahar Port development as a way to bypass Pakistan and crack open a trade and transport route to landlocked Afghanistan, as well as the resource rich countries of central Asia.

India is expanding its economic diplomacy in Afghanistan, seeing itself as a regional power. Its involvement in Chabahar’s development is primarily about establishing a gateway to Afghanistan, more than Iran itself.

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