US Senators raise eyebrows on India's Chabahar port deal with Iran

| Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 15:44
First Published |
US Senators raise eyebrows on India's Chabahar port deal with Iran

New Delhi:  India's brand new strategic Chabahar deal with Iran has raised some eyebrows in the United States of America's Senate. 
US Senators on Tuesday voiced concers over the India-Iran deal as to whether India’s development of a port in southern Iran would risk violating the international sanctions. 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday pledged up to $500 million to develop the port of Chabahar which will give India trade access to Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. The route is currently all but blocked by Pakistan, long at odds politically with India.
The strategic deal with Iran is not only seen as a major step to bypass Pakistan, in order to get trade access to Afganistan and Central Asia but also to counter China's growing presence in the Indian Ocean. Incidentally, Chabahar is just 100 kms from Pakistan's Gwadar port, which is being developed by China.
Nisha Desai Biswal, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs however claimed she had not seen any sign of Indian engagement with Iran in areas, such as military cooperation, that might be of concern to the United States.
The United States and Europe lifted sanctions on Iran in January that limits the country's nuclear programme. 

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