15 May 2024

What did S Jaishankar say about America's remark on India-Iran agreement to manage Chabahar Port?

Kolkata: Following a warning from the US regarding potential sanctions in response to India's 10-year agreement to manage the Chabahar Port in Iran, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasized the regional benefits of the project and urged against narrow perspectives.

Addressing concerns during an interaction after launching the Bangla edition of his book 'Why Bharat Matters' in Kolkata, Jaishankar highlighted the broader significance of Chabahar, which has previously garnered appreciation from the US.

'It's important not to adopt a myopic view'

Regarding the US comments, Jaishankar stated, "While I acknowledge the remarks, it's crucial to communicate and persuade others to recognize the collective advantages. It's important not to adopt a myopic view."

He added, "Historically, the US has acknowledged Chabahar's broader relevance, and we will continue our efforts in this direction."

Earlier, the United States cautioned about the persisting sanctions on Iran and the associated risks for entities engaging in business with Tehran.

Vedant Patel, the US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson, emphasized, "US sanctions on Iran remain effective, and we will uphold them. Anyone considering business with Iran should be mindful of potential sanctions."

The recently signed Long-Term Bilateral Contract on Chabahar Port Operation between Indian Ports Global Limited (IPGL) and the Port & Maritime Organisation (PMO) of Iran enables the operation of Shahid-Behesti port in the Chabahar Port Development Project for a decade.

'India had a long association with the project'

Jaishankar further explained India's longstanding involvement with the Chabahar project and the significance of the newly secured long-term agreement for regional benefits.

He explained, "Despite our longstanding association with Chabahar, we couldn't formalize a long-term agreement earlier due to various challenges on the Iranian side. However, we've successfully addressed these issues now. This agreement is pivotal for enhancing port operations, which we believe will positively impact the entire region."

Chabahar Port, a flagship project between India and Iran, serves as a crucial transit point for trade with landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian nations. India has played a pivotal role in the port's development, investing in its infrastructure to establish it as a viable transit route for Indian goods destined for Afghanistan and Central Asia.

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