Iran has junked media reports that India has been sidelined from a vital key rail project along the border with Afghanistan after New Delhi delayed payments and looked disinterested due to looming US sanctions.
Al-Jazeera quoting a deputy to Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, Farhad Montaser, labelled the report “totally false because Iran has not inked any deal with India regarding the Zahedan-Chabahr” railway.
“Iran has only signed two agreements with Indians for investment in Chabahar: one is related to port’s machinery and equipment, and the second is related to India’s investment to the tune of $150m,” Montaser was quoted by the IRNA news agency.
“We had a list of Indian investments in Chabahar port, which also included the issue of Chabahar railway infrastructure and the railway, but during the negotiations, it was not agreed.” He added, “sanctions have nothing to do to Iran-India’s cooperation in Chabahar”.
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported quoting The Hindu newspaper – Iran has expelled India from the Chabahar rail project. According to the report – four years after India and Iran signed a deal to construct a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, Tehran has decided to proceed with the project by itself citing delays from New Delhi.
The report writes – The Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister — Mohammad Eslami inaugurated the track-laying process for Chabahar-Zahedan line, which will be extended to Zaranj in Afghanistan.
Iranian officials told The Hindu that the complete project would be finished by March 2022 and that Iranian Railways will proceed without India’s support, using nearly $400 million from the Iranian National Development Fund.