Geopolitics

Iran to handover Chabahar port to Indian firm for operation in a month : Iranian Minister

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India and Iran have political goodwill to pursue infrastructure projects and continue energy trade overcoming challenges created by US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and subsequent sanctions, suggested Iran’s Roads & Urban Development Minister Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi who was hosted in New Delhi, coinciding with the Indo-US 2+2 Dialogue.

“I met my counterpart minister Nitin Gadkari and we discussed measures on India’s role in Chabahar Port, railway project connecting Chabahar Port with Zahedan, other railway and infrastructure projects that India is undertaking in Iran,” Akhoundi told ET following his meeting with the Indian minister.

“India and Iran have the political goodwill that will help to overcome challenges created due to decision taken by the US. Ours is not an artificial relationship but a relationship that goes back in history. The US decision has no doubt created difficulties but Delhi and Tehran are finding ways to overcome this situation,” informed Akhoundi.

That Akhoundi was hosted on the same day as that of 2+2 Dialogue can be viewed as a statement in itself after Delhi had made it clear that it will not be able to reduce Iranian oil imports. The issue figured in the 2+2 Dialogue and ET has learnt that US had hinted of waiver for Delhi. The Indian side sensitised visiting US ministers about long-standing energy ties with Iran.

“We have told the Indians consistently, as we have told every nation, that on November 4th the sanctions with respect to Iranian crude oil will be enforced, and that we will consider waivers where appropriate, but that it is our expectation that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country, or sanctions will be imposed. So we’ll work with the Indians. We committed that we would do that. Many countries are in a place where they – it takes a little bit of time to unwind, and we’ll work with them, I am sure, to find an outcome that makes sense,” US Secretary of State told US media after the Dialogue as he hinted at waiver. He, however, suggested US is ready to export oil in lieu of Iranian oil.

By: ET

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