India, Iran Agree on Legal Terms for Deep Sea Port Deal: Report

India, Iran Agree on Legal Terms for Deep Sea Port Deal: Report

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – India and Iran have agreed not to seek commercial foreign arbitration for disputes between users and operators at the deep sea Chabahar Port in southeast Iran, paving the way for a long-term deal to develop strategic hub, an Indian media outlet reported on Monday.

At the recent BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields including trade and investment, connectivity, energy, and counter-terrorism.

“Both sides agreed to fast track infrastructure cooperation, including the Chabahar project. The leaders also exchanged views on regional developments, including Afghanistan,” Modi’s office announced.

The countries have been working a long-term agreement allowing India to develop the Shahid Beheshti Terminal at the Chabahar Port for several years, and could seal the deal before the Global Maritime India Summit 2023, to be held in New Delhi in October.

In July, the financial newspaper Mint, citing a ports ministry official, reported that the agreement will likely be signed in September after the “contours of the long-term deal” are finalized in August, RT reported.

The reports suggest that a long-term contract was stuck due to differences of opinion over the arbitration clause, and now New Delhi and Tehran have agreed to pursue arbitration under rules framed by the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

According to Mint, India and Iran have until now been signing one-year contract extensions for developing and running the terminal at the Chabahar Port, but New Delhi has been urging Tehran to commit to a longer-term pact to provide more confidence to investors. A team from India’s Ministry of Port and Shipping is expected to visit Iran in September to try and reach an agreement over the rules of engagement and mode of arbitration.

Source: Tasnim News