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President Hassan Rouhani addresses a public gathering in Zabol on Dec. 2.
President Hassan Rouhani addresses a public gathering in Zabol on Dec. 2.

Major Plans to Empower Underprivileged Province

The government has decided to implement 24 major development projects in Sistan-Baluchestan Province by March 2019

Major Plans to Empower Underprivileged Province

Several projects are on the government's agenda to develop the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province, President Hassan Rouhani said.

"It was decided in a Cabinet meeting ahead of my trip to Sistan-Baluchestan to implement 24 major development projects in Sistan-Baluchestan Province by the end of the next Iranian year [March 20, 2019]," Rouhani was quoted as saying by his official website at a public gathering in the city of Zabol on Saturday.

It marked Rouhani's first provincial visit since his mandate was extended for an additional four years in the May 19 presidential election.

Today, he is to attend a ceremony to launch the first phase of Chabahar's Shahid Beheshti Port, a highly promising project that has substantially raised the prospects of spreading prosperity among the disadvantaged residents of Sistan-Baluchestan.

The port project is part of a trilateral transit agreement on the development of Chabahar Port, which was signed by Iran, India and Afghanistan last year. Transportation ministers from 27 countries are expected to attend the inauguration ceremony.

Transit via Shahid Beheshti Port is $1,000 cheaper than the ports of Pakistan and even 15 million rials ($375) cheaper than Shahid Rajaee Port, Iran's biggest container port at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, according to the director general of Ports and Maritime Organization of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Behrouz Aqaei.

The president vowed to soon launch a project to link Zabol to the national gas network.

"The gas pipeline will be designed and implemented in a way that the gas would be sufficient to also supply industrial needs. The gas flow will reach Zabol by the middle of the next Iranian year [September 2018]," he said.

Rouhani also singled out the government's plan to extend the national rail services to Sistan-Baluchestan's provincial capital of Zahedan.  

"The rail line will stretch from Chabahar to Zahedan and from Zahedan to Birjand and Mashhad," he declared.

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