Chabahar port expected to be ready by May as India steps up work: report

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“This sped up work in early 2021,” the CRS report said. (Drop)

Washington:

After a brief hiatus, India stepped up work on the Chabahar port earlier this year and Iran’s strategic port is expected to be operational next month, according to a congressional report.

In 2015, India agreed to help develop the Iranian port of Chabahar and an associated railway that would allow India to trade with Afghanistan without being hindered by Pakistan, Congressional Research said. Independent Service (CRS) in its latest report to members of the US Congress.

Prepared for lawmakers to make an informed decision, the nearly 100-page report said that in May 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Iran and signed an agreement to invest $ 500 million for develop the port and related infrastructure.

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Even though the Trump administration has granted India the “rebuilding Afghanistan” exception to its punitive Iranian sanctions, India has largely halted work on the project until the end of 2020.

“This accelerated the work in early 2021 and the port should be declared operational by May 2021 at the latest,” the CRS report said.

CRS reports are prepared by experts and are not considered official reports of the United States Congress.

Iran’s economy is highly integrated with those of its immediate neighbors in South Asia, he said, adding that India cites UN Security Council resolutions as a guideline for its policy on the move. regard to Iran.

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Between 2011 and 2016, when UN sanctions were in place against Iran, India’s central bank stopped using a Tehran-based regional body, the Asian Clearing Union, to manage transactions with the Iran, and the two countries have agreed to settle half of India’s oil purchases from Iran in Indian currency.

India significantly reduced its Iranian oil imports after 2011, but after the easing of sanctions in 2016, the country’s oil imports from Iran increased to 800,000 bpd in July 2018 – well above 2011 levels.

India paid Iran the $ 6.5 billion it owed for oil purchased in 2012-2016. India has not imported Iranian oil since May 2019.

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The CRS has said that Iran’s economic ties with Pakistan are less extensive than its economic ties with India.

A test of Pakistan’s compliance with sanctions was a pipeline project that would bring Iranian gas to Pakistan – a $ 7 billion project that US officials have repeatedly said would be subject to ISA sanctions .

Iran reportedly completed the pipeline on its side of the border, but during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Pakistan in March 2016, Pakistan made no commitment to complete the line. In 2009, India disassociated itself from the project, he said.

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