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‘Narrow’: EAM S Jaishankar reacts to US’ ‘sanction warning’ after Chabahar Port deal

A day after the US warned of a “potential risk of sanctions” following India’s 10-year agreement to operate the Chabahar Port in Iran, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar highlighted that the project will “benefit the entire region”.

Jaishankar added that people should not take a “narrow view” of the initiative.

He also pointed out that the US had appreciated the larger relevance of Chabahar in the past.

Also Read: Did US take U-turn on exemptions related to India-Iran Chabahar port deal? Can sanctions be imposed? All you should know

The EAM spoke at an interaction on Tuesday after the launch of the Bangla edition of his book ‘Why Bharat Matters’ in Kolkata.

When asked about the US remarks, Jaishankar said, “I did see some of the remarks that 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 (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.

Earlier Tuesday, the United States warned that “anyone” considering business deals with Tehran must be aware of the “potential risk of sanctions.”

Also Read: Mint Explainer: Why Iran’s Chabahar Port is vital to India’s interests

“I would just say…US sanctions on Iran remain in place and we will continue to enforce them,” the US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson, Vedant Patel said at the press briefing, adding, “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 Long-Term Bilateral Contract on Chabahar Port Operation was signed between Indian Ports Global Limited (IPGL) of India and Iran’s Port & Maritime Organisation (PMO) on Monday. This agreement allows for the operation of the Shahid-Behesti port as part of the Chabahar Port Development Project for the next 10 years.

Also Read: India, Iran sign long-term contract for Chabahar Port after years of talks

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar stated that India had a longstanding association with the Chabahar project but had previously been unable to secure a long-term agreement, which was crucial. He added that New Delhi managed to resolve the issues and finalize the long-term contract, which is expected to benefit the entire region.

“We have had a long association with the Chabahar Port, but we could never sign a long-term agreement. The reason was…there were various problems on the Iranian end…the joint-venture partner changes, the condition changed,” the Foreign Minister said.

He added, “Finally, we were able to sort this out and we were able to get the long-term agreement done. The long-term agreement is necessary, because without it you cannot really improve the port operation. And the port operation we believe, will benefit the entire region.”

Also Read: Mint Quick Edit | Does India’s Chabahar deal risk US sanctions?

The Chabahar Port is a flagship project between India and Iran, serving as a crucial transit hub for trade with landlocked countries like Afghanistan and those in Central Asia.

India has played a significant role in the development and operation of the Chabahar Port, investing in its infrastructure and upgrading its facilities to establish it as a viable transit route for Indian goods destined for Afghanistan and Central Asia.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 15 May 2024, 08:11 AM IST