TEHRAN

According to Iranian officials, the trade value between Afghanistan and Iran has hit $4 billion annually.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi has said that the growth in trade deals, including transit of goods and fuel products has hit $4 billion per year. Speaking to a group of university chancellors and academicians in the eastern city of Birjand, Qashqavi said Iran is determined to broaden mutual cooperation with the neighboring countries, including Afghanistan. Iran has built several roads, power transmission lines, border stations and many other infrastructure projects to better link the two nations, according to Fars News. In the meantime, Afghanistan is expected to find new sea routes through Iran’s Chabahar port after the Indian government approved a plan to develop the port. The port will be developed by an Indian joint venture company with an investment of $85.21 million and operate the port for 10 years. Chabahar port is located in the Sistan-Balochistan province in southeastern coast of Iran which is considered to be a strategic utility for India.

The port is having a distance of 883 km to Zaranj district of western Nimroz province which could link the major cities of Afghanistan, Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif to sea routes through Zaranj-Delaram road.