Iran India Afghan Trilateral
India signs Trilateral Transport and Transit Agreement with Iran, Afghanistan. In Picture: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the President of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani and the President of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, witnessing the signing of Trilateral Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.PIB India

India, Iran and Afghanistan on Monday signed the Trilateral Transport and Transit Corridor Agreement during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Iran.

"The Agreement on the establishment of a Trilateral Transport & Transit Corridor can alter the course of history of this region," said Prime Minister Modi, according to a tweet by Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.

This "historic agreement will strengthen our ability to stand against those whose only motto is to maim and kill innocents," Modi said in a veiled attack to insurgency ravaged areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan that have hindered India's full connectivity with Central Asia and further north.

Modi likened this alignment of the three neighbours to India's west as ushering in an "arc of prosperity in Asia" as a whole.

"We wanted to prove that geography is not our destiny. With our will we can change geography," Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan, said referring to the long envisioned multimodal sea-land route.

One part of the trilateral agreement would include the construction of Chabahar-Zahedan railway line (a bilateral initiative between India and Iran's infrastructure development companies). The trilateral agreement will turn the Iranian port city of Chabahar into a major transit hub.

Talking about the significance of the earlier signed Chabahar Agreement, which also includes construction of a corridor between Chabahar port and Zahedan, Iran President Hassan Rouhani said that this day will henceforth be called the Chabahar Day. 

He noted that with the joint investments between the three countries, "we can connect India to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Europe."

Modi added that this corridor "will be a corridor of peace and prosperity."

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