Iran denies signing deal with India on Chabahar railway project

Tehran: – China has made preparations to invest $400 billion in Iran. Reports had been published that India has been banished from the Chabahar railway project, as a result of this Chinese cooperation. Claims were also rife that this Iranian decision is a major blow to the India-Iran relations. But Iran has dismissed the reports saying that no agreement, whatsoever, had been signed between India and Iran regarding the Chabahar railway project.   

Farhad Montaser, a deputy to Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, during an interview with the Gulf news channel Al Jazeera, dismissed the report regarding the Chabahar-Zahedan rail link. Iran has signed only two agreements with India regarding the Chabahar port and these do not include the development of the rail link. Montaser informed that although discussions had taken place regarding the infrastructure for the rail link, no deal was signed between India and Iran, following the discussions. Montaser also clarified that the US sanctions would not affect Iran-India relations in any way.   

The statements received from Iran indicate that the friendly relations between India and Iran continue to remain the same. China and Iran have come together against the United States. Iran needs the Chinese investment and China needs Iranian oil. Therefore, China has expressed its willingness to invest $400 billion in Iran. But there is no possibility that Iran will wind up its relations with India. Indian analysts are pointing out that Iran is fully aware that given the US sanctions, India is unable to have the desired cooperation with Iran.  

While building relations with Iran, China will first try to end the Indian influence, on Iran and this may result in losing the Chabahar port. But China taking over the Chabahar port will mean that China will lose interest in the Pakistani port of Gwadar. As per Indian military analysts, this will come as a major relief to India. The claims are being endorsed, citing the displeasure being expressed in Pakistan, regarding the Chinese intent of investing $400 billion in Iran.  

China is the closest ally for Pakistan and China has invested hardly $65 billion in Pakistan. But China chose Iran for a $400 billion investment. Some of the Pakistani journalists have claimed that this is betrayal. At the same time, diplomats from the Pakistan embassies around the world, are warning the Imran Khan government that serious repercussions of the China-Pakistan cooperation are being felt. China has earned a bad name over the issues of Coronavirus pandemic, Hongkong, Taiwan and the South China Sea. The Pakistani diplomats have warned the Pakistani government that in this scenario, Pakistan also is facing the wrath of the leading countries as a partner of China.   

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