The Iranian government has decided to build the railway project from Chahbahar port to Zahedan on its own.
It should be noted that Iran had signed an agreement with New Delhi four years ago for this project bordering Afghanistan.
The Iranian government has claimed that a delay in funding from India for a project to build a 628-kilometre railway line led to its separation from the multi-million dollar project.
According to the reports, Iran will use $400 million of its Iranian National Development Fund for the project instead of relying on financial support from India.
The railway project, to be completed by March 2022, was inaugurated last week by Iranian Minister of Transport Mohammad Islami.
The development comes as China is finalizing a 400 400 billion strategic partnership with Iran.
According to the report, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Railway Constructions Limited (ARCON) declined to comment on the matter.
However, when asked whether the MoU has been cancelled as the project was started without it, Indian officials said, “India can join it later.”
Agreement between India and Iran
The railway project between Iranian Railways and India’s state-owned company was to provide India with an alternative route to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
In May 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Tehran to sign the ChahBahar agreement with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, where the Indian state-owned company signed an agreement with the Iranian Ministry of Railways.
The MoU was aimed at “building railway lines from ChahBahar to Zahedan as part of the transit and transport corridor in the tripartite agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan.”
The company had promised to provide all services, superstructure work and financial support (approximately $1.6 billion) for the project.
However, despite repeated visits to the Engineers site and preparations by the Iranian Railways, India never embarked on the work, which was apparently due to fears of US sanctions.
India has already cut off its oil imports from Iran due to US sanctions.
This Iranian port was to be built in comparison to Pakistan’s Gwadar port.