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EghtesadOnline: India’s largest port operator, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, has lifted the ban and restriction it had recently placed on handling export and import of container cargoes from Iran, according to Secretary-General of Shipping Association of Iran Masoud Polmeh.

In a letter to Mozaffar Alikhani, the deputy head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Trade for provincial and organizational affairs, Polmeh announced that with the collaboration of the Iranian private sector active in India as well as Iran’s Embassy in New Delhi, Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd has agreed to lift restrictions on Iranian fleet and cargo, ILNA reported.

From now on, reads the letter, fleet carrying the Iranian flag and consignments loaded in Iran’s ports can berth in terminals operated by this company.

Polmeh has asked ICCIMA to inform all private sector businesses of the new arrangements to resume their commercial activity via the Indian port.

Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd had announced on Oct. 11 that its terminals would no longer handle export and import of container cargoes from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan from Nov. 15.

"This trade advisory will apply to all terminals operated by [Adani Ports] and including third-party terminals at any [company] port till further notice," Adani Ports, which is part of the Adani Group conglomerate, said in a statement.

The decision came weeks after Indian officials seized nearly three tons of heroin originating from Afghanistan worth an estimated 200 billion rupees ($2.65 billion) from two containers at western Gujarat's Mundra Port, run by Adani Ports.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, formerly known as Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited, is India's largest private multi-port operator. APSEZ represents a large network of ports with India's largest SEZ at Mundra.

Tehran conveyed its displeasure to New Delhi, calling the ban on its consignments as an “unprofessional and imbalanced move”. This was conveyed on Wednesday by Iranian police and narcotic drug control officers to their Indian counterparts, the Indian Express reported.

In a statement, the Iranian Embassy in New Delhi said police and narcotic drug control authorities of India and Iran examined their “shared concerns and challenges resulting from a surge in illicit drug trafficking in the region and the ways and means of mutual cooperation and exchanges as part of the expected outcomes in this respect”.

It said “for many decades, narcotic drugs production and its organized trafficking from Afghanistan has posed a major threat to Iran, our region and the rest of the world, necessitating a non-stop and united struggle as well as genuine cooperation and partnership among all countries against this global issue”.

As an immediate neighbor of Afghanistan, Iran said it has also been “significantly impacted by other developments” in Afghanistan. It listed three major factors behind the considerable rise of narcotic production and trafficking: “occupation of Afghanistan by foreign forces”, “infighting between various groups” and “severe poverty”.

Describing the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan as the “main root causes” of the surge in “chaos, insecurity and exacerbation of illicit drug trafficking” in the region, the statement said these are “usually ignored or underestimated”.

It said Iran has “suffered from many trade restrictions and unjust sanctions” and is once again “being targeted unfairly through denial of trade” and the ban on its consignments is “an unprofessional and imbalanced move” – a reference to the APSEZ trade advisory effective Nov. 15.

Calling the meeting with Indian officials “successful dialogue”, the Iranian statement said “positive outcomes” would be a “better arrangement for deepening our cordial relations”.

 

Iran Adani Ports