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Indian government approves Chabahar Port deal with Iran despite US warning of sanctions


May 14 :
Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department Vedant Patel warned that companies thinking about doing business with Iran should be mindful of the "potential risk of sanctions" just hours after India inked a long-term deal to operate the Chabahar Port in Tehran on May 13.

At a news conference, Patel acknowledged that there have been rumours that Iran and India had reached an agreement on the Chabahar port. Let the Indian government explain its foreign policy objectives in relation to the Chabahar Port and its bilateral ties with Iran; I will not interject. The United States has maintained and will maintain its sanctions against Iran, that much is certain.

The signing of the agreement between Iranian Ports and Maritime Organisation and Indian Ports Global Limited was witnessed by Indian Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. "We have laid the foundations of India's long-term involvement at Chabahar with the signature of this contract," Sonowal remarked at the event.

A total of $250 million is anticipated to be raised for the project, with an additional $120 million invested by IPGL. Trade among Afghanistan, Iran, and India is likely to increase as a result of the move. In particular, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has set aside Rs 100 crore for the fiscal years 2024–25.

"This 10 years long term lease agreement further strengthens the bilateral ties between the two countries while bolstering confidence and boosting trust of trading communities from the region," a statement issued by the MEA stated.

Reporters questioned US Secretary of State Patel if any countries were immune from the trade penalties, and Patel simply said, "No."

With its 7,200 kilometres of multimodal transit connecting Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Central Asia, Russia, and Europe, the International North-South transit Corridor is set to use the Chabahar Port as its hub.

During the 2003 visit of then-President Muhammad Khatami of Iran to India, discussions to develop the port were initially held. India put $100 million for its development in 2013. Prior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2016 visit to Iran, an MoU was inked in 2015 to facilitate the port's continued development. The nearest Indian port, Chabahar, is about 550 nautical miles away from Gujarat's Kandla port. Chabahar and Mumbai Port are 786 nautical miles apart.