Iran has criticised India for not making investments in the expansion of the Chabahar port saying that New Delhi will lose ‘special privileges’ if the import of Iranian oil is curtailed.
The Iranian Deputy ambassador to India, Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi said Iran will cut off privileges given to India if the oil market is saturated by other suppliers, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq or the United States.
“It is unfortunate that Indian investment promises expansion of Chabahar port and its connectivity projects have not been accomplished so far. It is expected that India takes immediate necessary measures in this regard if its cooperation and engagement in Chabahar port is of strategic nature,” he said.
Uncertainty over Chabahar
Speaking at a seminar on global diplomacy and bilateral ties with India, Rahaghi said that Chabahar broadens trade opportunities between India, Iran, Afghanistan and more Central Asian countries.
In May 2016 India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a pact to establish a Transit and transport Corridor, whereby Chabahar would be cultivated as a regional hub for sea transportation and commercial shipments.
Rahaghi pointed out that Iran had remained a reliable energy partner for India providing oil at a ‘rationale pricing’.
South Asian rivalries may hinder region’s economic progress
He further argued that “If India were to replace Iran with countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the US and others for the 10 per cent of its oil demand then it may have to revert to dollar-denominated imports which would mean a higher current account deficit and deprivation of all other privileges Iran has offered to India.”
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