Chabahar Port To Benefit 'Entire Region,' Jaishankar Says After U.S. Sanctions Warning

(MENAFN- KNN India) Kolkata, May 16 (KNN) India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has defended the country's decision to operate Iran's Chabahar port, stating the strategic project "will benefit the entire region" despite a U.S. warning about potential sanctions risk.

Speaking in Kolkata this week, Jaishankar pushed back against recent remarks from Washington after the U.S. cautioned that any countries doing business with Iran could face sanctions enforcement.

"I don't think people should take a narrow view of it. And, they have not done so in the past," Jaishankar said, noting previous U.S. administrations recognised Chabahar's broader regional significance.

India on Monday finalised a 10-year contract between Indian Ports Global Limited and Iran's Port and Maritime Organisation to run operations at the port located on Iran's southern coast along the Gulf of Oman.

The deal allows India to take over operations at Chabahar, providing a gateway for Indian goods to reach landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian nations via a multi-modal transportation corridor while bypassing Pakistan.

"We had a long association with Chabahar port but could never sign a long-term agreement. Finally, we were able to sort this out and get the agreement done," Jaishankar stated.

"A long-term deal is necessary because without it we cannot improve port operations. And the port, we believe, will benefit the entire region,” the minister added.

The Chabahar project has been touted as a key link for the International North-South Transport Corridor, a 7,200-km transit route designed to facilitate freight movement between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

However, the US State Department maintained that "U.S. sanctions on Iran remain in place and we'll continue to enforce them." Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel cautioned any entities considering deals with Iran "need to be aware of the potential risk of sanctions."

Development of the port had been slowed by previous U.S. sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. India first proposed taking over operations in 2003.

(KNN Bureau)


KNN India

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