News Brief

'Narrow View' Won't Help: Jaishankar Defends Chabahar Port Agreement With Iran After US Warning Of Sanctions

Kuldeep Negi

May 15, 2024, 08:34 AM | Updated 08:34 AM IST

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

A day after the US warned of a "potential risk of sanctions" following India’s 10-year agreement for operating the Chabahar Port in Iran, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasised that the project will benefit the entire region and should not be viewed narrowly.

Jaishankar noted that the US had previously recognised the broader significance of Chabahar.

Jaishankar made these remarks during an interaction after launching the Bangla edition of his book 'Why Bharat Matters' in Kolkata on Wednesday.

When asked about the US' warning, he stated, "I did see some of the remarks which were made, but 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".

"They (the US) have not done so in the past. So, if you look at the US' own attitude towards the port in Chabahar, the US has been appreciative of the fact that Chabahar has a larger relevance...we will work at it," he added, NDTV reported.

On Monday, the United States cautioned that "anyone" considering business deals with Tehran should be aware of the "potential risk of sanctions."

Vedant Patel, the US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson, stated at a press briefing, "I would just say...US sanctions on Iran remain in place and we will continue to enforce them. Any entity, anyone considering business deals with Iran, they need to be aware of the potential risk they are opening themselves up to, potential risk of sanctions."

The agreement for Chabahar Port operations was signed between Indian Ports Global Limited (IPGL) and Iran's Port & Maritime Organisation (PMO), allowing India to operate the Shahid-Behesti port as part of the Chabahar Port Development Project for ten years.

Jaishankar highlighted India's long-standing involvement with the Chabahar project, noting that a long-term agreement had been delayed due to various issues on the Iranian side, such as changes in joint-venture partners and conditions.

He explained that resolving these issues allowed the long-term agreement to be signed, which is crucial for improving port operations and benefiting the entire region.

The Chabahar Port is a key India-Iran project serving as a transit port for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.

India has invested in the port’s infrastructure and has been involved in upgrading its facilities to make it a viable transit route for Indian goods bound for Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Also Read: After Ignoring Uttar Pradesh In Four Phases, Senior Congress Leaders Flock In Rae Bareli To Campaign For Rahul Gandhi

Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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