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US threatens sanctions over India-Iran port deal

On May 13, Iran and India signed a 10-year contract to hand over the development and management of the Chabahar port in southern Iran to India. The port of Chabahar is just over 100 kilometers by sea from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, where the Americans claim a secret base of the PLANavy, the Chinese navy, is located. Furthermore, the port of Chabahar is located at the southern end of the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan and in the north-eastern part of the Gulf of Oman. It is located at the intersection of South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean and is an extremely important hub of the international North-South transport corridor. By developing the Chabahar port, India hopes to use Iran's transportation network to boost trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia


The signing of a port agreement between India and Iran has caused discontent in the United States. After the US State Department spokesperson threatened sanctions, Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar responded on May 15, saying that the India-Iran port deal will benefit the entire region and that the US should not see the question from a "narrow perspective."


Chabahar port (circled in red) is just over 100 kilometers by sea from Gwadar port

Speaking about the US threat during the interaction, he said: "I've seen some comments, but I think it's a question of communication, persuasion and it's really in everyone's interest that people understand. I don't think people should watch it from a narrow perspective."


Jaishankar said the US itself had also in the past "appreciated the importance of Chabahar port" and that India would work hard to promote this issue.


India's External Affairs Minister Sujeethan Talks About Port Deal While Attending Book Launch Event / NDTV

"We have a long-term cooperative relationship with Chabahar Port, but we have not been able to sign a long-term agreement. The reason is that... various problems have arisen on the Iranian side... the joint partners ventures have changed, conditions have changed." Jaishankar said, "But ultimately, we were able to resolve the issue and reaching a long-term agreement is necessary and it is not possible to truly improve port operations without it the port will benefit the entire region."


According to Iranian English-language PressTV, on May 13, local time, Iran and India signed a 10-year contract to hand over the development and management of the Chabahar port in southern Iran to India. The total value of the contract is approximately $370 million and India is to invest $120 million in the provision of strategic equipment for the port and finance $250 million in the construction of the port's transportation infrastructure.

Information map of Chabahar port in southern Iran

The port of Chabahar is just over 100 kilometers by sea from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, where the Americans claim a secret base of the PLANavy, the Chinese navy, is located

Furthermore, the port of Chabahar is located at the southern end of the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan and in the north-eastern part of the Gulf of Oman. It is located at the intersection of South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean and is an extremely important hub of the international North-South transport corridor.


By developing the Chabahar port, India hopes to use Iran's transportation network to boost trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia. The Economic Times and other Indian media have said this is the first time India has won management rights to an overseas port, and that it is an important geopolitical contact with Iran.


India's contacts with Iran have dissatisfaction in the United States


Asked about the deal at a press conference on May 14, U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel warned that “anyone” considering commercial transactions with Iran needs to be aware of the “potential risks of sanctions.” “US sanctions against Iran remain in place and Washington will continue to enforce them,” he said.


According to Indian media, considering that Chabahar port is a key link connecting India with Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eurasia - obtaining operational rights of the port will help India "counterbalance" China's Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Gwadar Port project.


India has been trying to convince Central Asian countries that the Chabahar port is a “better choice” for Central Asia's access to the Indian Ocean.

Regarding the Gwadar Port project, Zamir Ahmed Awan, founding president of Global Silk Road Research Alliance, a Pakistani think tank, said that through sea, land and air connectivity, Gwadar Port is gradually becoming a logistics hub region that effectively connects the Middle East, East Asia, Central Asia and China and this will create opportunities for the development of Pakistan and regional countries.


In October last year, China and Pakistan issued a joint statement. Both sides believe that Gwadar Port is an important node for regional connectivity, agreed to accelerate the construction of support facilities of Gwadar Port and reiterated that Gwadar Port will be built in a high altitude area. quality port, a regional trade center and an interconnection hub.


However, the United States has highlighted evidence that Gwadar Port hides a Chinese military base.


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