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Chabahar not a rival to Gwadar: Iran envoy

From Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Addressing tensions surrounding Chabahar, Mehdi Honerdoost, the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan, has said the Chabahar port agreement between Iran, India and Afghanistan is “not finished” and “not limited to these three countries”.
Speaking on Pakistan-Iran relations at the Institute of Strategic Studies here yesterday, the envoy revealed that the offer to cooperate had first been extended to Pakistan and then China, implying neither had expressed interest.
Ahmed Saffee, a research fellow at the ISSI, quoted the Iranian envoy as saying that the deal is still on the table for both Pakistan and China, assuring that “Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar”.
The ambassador added that both are sister ports, and Chabahar port authorities would extend cooperation to Gwadar.
“The deal is not finished. We are waiting for new members. Pakistan, our brotherly neighbours and China, a great partner of the Iranians and a good friend of Pakistan, are both welcome,” said the envoy.
“India was a good friend during the sanctions, the only country to import oil from us during sanctions.”

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