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India reaches out to Asia's heartlands

Iranian port project could herald start of a challenge to China's expanding geostrategic links

| China
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a joint media appearance in Tehran in May 2016 (Photo by India's Press Information Bureau)

The inauguration of the Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar, southeastern Iran, by President Hassan Rouhani this week is a landmark event for the country which has sought to develop it since the time of the last Shah in the 1970s.

To Iran, which aims to broaden its international options in the face of threats of renewed sanctions from the United States, Chabahar opens up a maritime trade route outside the conflict-prone Persian Gulf and, unlike the available land corridors, is not subject to the whims of its suspicious Arab neighbors.

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