published: 2017-02-22 08:15:39
”In the coming months we are inaugurating the first phase of Chabahar, and want India to increase its cooperation in the project,” Iranian Ambassador to India Gholam Reza Ansari told UNI, hinting that desired pace from the Indian side was lacking.
Ansari’s remark come amid speculations that newly elected US President’s sanctions against Iran for its missile and nuclear programme might affect India’s involvement in the project.
However, the Indian side denies that any delay on its part was taking place and any development related to the project had anything to do Donald Trump.
Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs told UNI that it would be wrong to say that any slow down in the work at all had taken place.
”The work on the project is going on in full steam. There should be no doubt about our commitment to Chabahar,” they said.
India and Iran had last summer inked the agreement for joint development of the Chabahar port, some 1800 km south of Tehran, which will enable India to bypass Pakistan to reach energy rich Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.
The agreement was signed during Mr Modi’s visit to Iran.
However, after the initial euphoria over the achievement, the work on the project was reported to be not progressing, and the Iranian sides had more than once minced no words to press for the urgency of its completion.
Conceived in 2003, the Chabahar port besides giving India access to the energy rich regions was also seen as a counterbalance to China’s influence in the region. China has built a deepwater port in Pakistan’s Gwadar,which is already operational.
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