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With US sanctions 3 months away, Iran asks India to speed up investment in Chabahar Port

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 links.

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,

 

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