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India commits to Iran port deal despite US warnings

India commits to Iran port deal despite US warnings

India commits to Iran port deal despite US warnings

India commits to Iran port deal despite US warnings

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  • India signs a 10-year deal with Iran to develop the Chabahar port.
  • The US warns that business deals with Iran risk sanctions.
  • India argues that the agreement benefits the region and is for everyone’s benefit.
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On Monday, India signed a 10-year deal with Iran to develop the strategically important Chabahar port and urged the US not to take a “narrow view” of the agreement, following a warning from Washington that countries engaging in business deals with Tehran risked sanctions.

The US said any country considering business deals with Iran “needs to be aware of the potential risks”.

But Delhi has backed the move and stated that the agreement would benefit the region.

“I think it’s a question of communicating, convincing, and getting people to understand that this is actually for everyone’s benefit. I don’t think people should take a narrow view of it,” Foreign Minister S Jaishankar told reporters on Tuesday. He was responding to a question about Washington’s remarks on the deal.

Mr. Jaishankar added that in the past, the US too had been “appreciative of the fact that Chabahar has a larger relevance.” He also emphasized that a long-term agreement with Iran was necessary to improve the port’s operations.

“And the port operation, we believe, will benefit the entire region,” he said.

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In 2016, India first entered an agreement to develop the Chabahar port, located close to Iran’s border with Pakistan. It assumed operations at the end of 2018. The port has since opened a transit route for Indian goods and products to Afghanistan and Central Asia. This route is crucial as India and Pakistan, who share a tense relationship, are neighbors.

Officials report that they have shipped 2.5 million tonnes of wheat and 2,000 tonnes of pulses from India to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port. Under the new deal, India plans to further develop the port by investing about $370 million in the project.

The country’s shipping minister called it a “historic moment in India-Iran ties”.

But on Tuesday, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel stated in response to a question that Washington would continue to impose sanctions on Iran.

“Any entity, anyone considering business deals with Iran – they need to be aware of the potential risks that they are opening themselves up to and the potential risk of sanctions,” Mr Patel added.

A crucial ally of India, Washington has strained ties with Tehran. Over the past three years, the country has imposed more than 600 sanctions against entities related to Iran.

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India aims for Iranian port as key access point to Afghanistan and Central Asia
India aims for Iranian port as key access point to Afghanistan and Central Asia

India signs a 10-year contract with Iran to operate the Iranian port...

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