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India downplays US sanctions threat over Iran port deal

Published : Thursday, 16 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 168

NEW DELHI, May 15: Indias foreign minister has said his country will work to communicate the benefits of a strategic port project in Iran, after the United States said Indian firms working on the project risked sanctions.

Iran and India this week signed a contract to develop and equip the long-stalled Chabahar port in an agreement that would give New Delhi 10 years of access to the facility, at a time when its government is seeking to grow trade in west and central Asia.

Washington has warm ties with India but a longstanding adversarial relationship with Iran, soured further by Tehrans support for Hamas in its war with Israel.

"Its a question of communicating and convincing and getting people to understand that this is actually for everybodys benefit," Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar said at a public event in the city of Kolkata on Tuesday evening.

"If you look at the USs own attitude to Chabahar in the past, the US has been appreciative of the fact that Chabahar has a larger relevance," he added.

The United States had begrudgingly accepted the port project while the US military was in Afghanistan, as it saw New Delhi as a valuable partner to back the Kabul government that fell   in 2021.    —AFP

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