Chabahar Agreement

Officials told The Hindu that the entire project would be completed by March 2022 and that Iran`s railways would continue four years after signing the deal without India`s help. The bilateral agreement between India and Iran gives India the right to develop two quays at Chabahar Port, as agreed in 2015, and allows them to be operated for 10 years by India Ports Global, a joint venture between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust, in partnership with Iran Aria Banader. [48] India Ports Global has guaranteed the transshipment of 30,000 TEUs until the third year of operation and aims to finally clear 250,000 TEUs. [49] Despite the appeal, India`s investment in Shabahar has always been held hostage to international policy changes towards Iran. U.S. policy, in particular, has become heavily insecure over the past two decades. It imposed heavy sanctions on Iran until the nuclear talks between the P-5+1 (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany), which began in 2006, successfully ended with the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015. While India continued to negotiate for Shabahar, talks were only able to make progress after sanctions were lifted. In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signed the Chabahar Agreement, which included the trilateral agreement establishing an international transport and transit corridor between Afghanistan, Iran and India. It also included the port project and the railway line, which were to be built and financed by IRCON for $US 1.6 billion.

However, in 2018, US President Donald Trump lifted the JCPOA and again imposed harsh sanctions on Iran. This means that India`s energy imports from Iran, the third largest supplier, had to fall to zero. Bilateral trade, which depended on a rupipe-rial exchange rate mechanism, was also suspended. The U.S. gave Chabahar a special waiver or “carve-out,” but the sanctions made it very difficult for companies that do business with the U.S. to participate in the project. The railway project, which has been the subject of discussions between Iran`s railways and the state-owned Indian Railways Construction Ltd (IRCON), is expected to be part of India`s commitment to the trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on building another trade route to Afghanistan and Central Asia. July 14, 2015 – Nuclear deal with Iran. Iran and the P5+1 countries agree on Iran`s nuclear program. The deal provides for the lifting of sanctions after Iran complies with the terms of the deal. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s recent visit to Iran has done a lot, at least on paper. The conclusion of a trilateral agreement with Afghanistan and Iran for the development of the port of Chabahar is of the utmost importance for India.

The port, where India is investing $500 million, is located in Iran`s Sistan-e-Baluchestan province and would give New Delhi direct ties to Afghanistan. This is necessary to bypass Pakistan, which has so far denied access to its routes to India for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia. In line with its desire to be considered a major regional player, Iran has taken the initiative to cooperate with all neighboring countries to improve the transit potential of Shabahar. It signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Afghanistan and Tajikistan on the construction of railway lines, water pipes and power transmission pipelines. .