Iranian government asked India to expedite its
investment and push the partner companies to accelerate the execution of
projects linked to the development of the strategic Chabahar port, the
development of which had been agreed to by both countries through an agreement.
The statement issued by the Iranian embassy in New
Delhi said Tehran has been pushing Delhi to speed up work on the Chabahar port
and the related transit corridor linking Afghanistan comprising rail and road
Iran the statement says has always welcomed
Indian initiatives. However due to importance of the issue of providing link to
war torn Afghanistan Iran has frequently emphasized on expediting investments
for the port project, India should push partner companies to accelerate their
engagement in the execution of the project.
The statement said Iran will continue to be a
reliable energy partner for India and adopt a flexible approach to ensuring
secure oil supplies. .
The statement came a day after Iran’s charge
d’affaires Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi was quoted as telling a seminar in New Delhi that India had
not fulfilled its promise of making investments in Chabahar and that New Delhi
stands to lose “privileges” if it cuts imports of Iranian oil due to pressure
from the United States.
The statement clarified that the Iranian
ambassador Mr Rahaghi had been misquoted and said: “Iran understands the
difficulties of India in dealing with the unstable energy market and it has
done and will do its best to ensure security of oil supply to India through
offering various flexibility measures which facilitates our bilateral trade in
particular Indian export to Iran.”
Iran has always been a reliable energy partner
for India and others, seeking a balanced oil market and rational prices of oil
which ensures the interests of both…consumer and supplier.”
Without referring to the Trump administration’s
threat to cut Iranian oil imports to zero by November 4 or face sanctions, the
statement said India is a sovereign nation that would choose energy partners on
the basis of criteria such as “friendly relations with supplier countries,
market factors, geopolitical and geo-economical considerations and potentials
and reliability of oil suppliers”.
Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after
Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The country supplied 18.4 million tons of crude oil
between April 2017 and January 2018, but latest figures showed India’s oil
imports had declined by 15.9 per cent in June, the first month after the US
said it would re-impose sanctions.
In June, India imported 592,800 barrels per day
(bpd) of oil from Iran, compared to 705,200 bpd in May,