US allows India to develop Chahbahar port with Iran while Pakistan reportedly stopped from Iran pipeline
NEW DELHI - US has taken a lenient view of the India Iran relations and the Chahbahar port developed by India in Iran while Pakistan Iran pipeline project is reportedly being stopped over US pressure and US sanctions.
India has maintained ties with Iran which is being targeted by the Trump administration for its alleged military support of extremist groups in the Middle East and for its ballistic missile programme.
India has long sourced its oil from Iran, but in recent years the two sides have been also collaborating on key infrastructure projects.
New Delhi is pushing hard for the development of Chabahar port on the Iranian coast as a hub for its trade links to the resource-rich countries of central Asia and Afghanistan but the Trump administration’s tough stance has raised new concerns over the future of that project.
But Tillerson struck a conciliatory stance on India’s ties with Iran, saying it wouldn’t come in the way of countries doing legitimate business there.
“It is not our objective to harm the Iranian people nor is it our objective to interfere with legitimate business activities that are going on with other businesses, whether they be from Europe, India or agreements that are in place or promote economic development and activity to the benefit of our friends and allies,” he said.
America’s disagreements were with the Iranian regime, and in particular the Iran Revolutionary Guard, he said.
India is especially keen on the Chabahar port as a way to bypass Pakistan which does not allow easy trade and transit arrangements to Afghanistan and beyond.