Tue Mar 7, 2017 11:54AM
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif says the littoral states of the Indian Ocean can use its transportation facilities.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif says the littoral states of the Indian Ocean can use its transportation facilities.

Iran says the littoral states of the Indian Ocean can benefit from its maritime transportation facilities to access regional as well as international shipment points.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif told a meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) that the country’s southeastern port of Chabahar provided a strategic link to the Persian Gulf as well as Central Asia and beyond. 

Zarif emphasized that Chabahar offered numerous privileges to trade activities regional countries including a safe and short access between east and west Asia as well as the southern and northern trading destinations of the continent.       

He said Iran would hold a meeting of the heads of IORA free trade zones in Chabahar in April, adding that the meeting provided a good opportunity to discuss the avenues for boosting trade relations between member states. 

Zarif further stressed that Iran was aware of the value of maritime transportation for the IORA states, adding that the country viewed cooperation with those to that effect as a “valuable opportunity”.   

He emphasized that the Association in fact provided a “unique chance” for the member states to further enhance their relations.  

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister further highlighted the need for increasing transportation safety measures as well as preventing sea pollution.  Both issues, Zarif emphasized, need to be to top priorities on the agenda of the IORA. 

Indonesia hosted the first ever IORA Leaders' Summit under the theme of "Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean".

The IORA summit brought together the leaders of its 21 member states and seven dialogue partners as well as other special invitees and guests.

The association compromises Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Currently, IORA's dialogue partners are China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.