Indian external affairs minister:
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. (File)

The US sanctions on Iran have not affected India’s Chabahar port project, Indian external affairs minister told Lok Sabha on Friday.

Iran PressAsia: Replying to a question from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) member, Ritesh Pandey, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also clarified that US sanctions are “not relevant” to India’s Chabahar port project in Iran “at all.”

The Lok Sabha, or House of the People, is the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha.

During the Question Hour in Parliament, Pandey sought to know from the government if US sanctions on Iran had any bearing on India’s project at the Chabahar port and claimed that the Iranian government is “publicly saying that our Chabahar port project has been miserably delayed” due to sanctions imposed by the US.”

The BSP member also claimed he is “aware” that China is trying to work on the project by taking advantage of US sanctions on Iran as it did “with the rail link” and asked the government if it is working on a “solution.”

“I would like to inform the member that (his) assertion is completely inaccurate. This agreement was signed in 2016. We took possession of the terminal in 2018. We have already supplied six cranes. The terminal is fully functional,” S Jaishankar said.

In a supplementary question, the BSP member sought to know from the government if India has signed “any backdoor agreement” to continue using the Chabahar port to provide help to central Asian countries and Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the control of the country's government.

“All our agreements on the Chabahar port operations are limited to Iran. Originally, there was a trilateral agreement, but that was the basis to set it up. In terms of port operations, we are not required to have any agreement with the government of Afghanistan. And, I assure you that the port is functioning and functioning back,” the external affairs minister said in his reply.


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