- The US administration is determined to impose fresh set of sanctions on Iran and countries and entities engaged in business with Tehran.
- Therefore, it is currently reviewing India’s development of the strategically important Chabahar port in Iran.
- Last month, President Donald Trump issued a strong warning to anyone trading with Iran, following his re-imposition of sanctions on the country.
- During the recently held 2+2 Dialogue, the US emphasised its administration’s resolve to impose sanctions on Iran.
- It also voiced its expectation that its partners will work to reduce oil imports from the oil-rich Islamic Republic to zero.
- The US officials have had a detailed conversation both with the Indian private sector and the Indian counterparts to discuss what this means and what steps the US is taking to ensure the adequate supply.
About Chabahar Port
- It is a seaport in Chabahar located in southeastern Iran, in the Gulf of Oman.
- The Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich nation’s southern coast lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s western coast bypassing Pakistan.
- It is the only Iranian port with direct access to the ocean.
- The route will provide connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
- It is a $20-billion investment for India and is seen as a rival to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s Gwadar port.
Why is it so important for India?
- The port will make way for India to bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan using a sealand route.
- At present, Pakistan does not allow India to transport through its territory to Afghanistan.
- This will also give momentum to the International North-South Transport Corridor of which both are initial signatories along with Russia.
- It would counter Chinese presence in the Arabian sea through the support to Pakistan in developing Gwadar port.
- It can be used to station security vessels for merchant ships off the African coast apart from giving the country a foothold in the western Arabian Sea, which is important as many of its energy imports pass through the route.