March 1, 2021
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Renewed interests
Competition for Chabahar port development As the geopolitics is picking up in Afghanistan in the post US troop withdrawal, India has taken a renewed position to develop Iran’s Chabahar port which can provide Afghanistan an alternate access to the sea. Indian move has come at a time when Iran is also looking for a second port option which can serve as a unique deep sea port located at the crossroads of global trade, commerce and energy routes. Now Rouhani government has a change of mind about Iran’s share of Chabahar port development which can serve Tehran’s strategic interest and facilitate Afghanistan’s access to sea for trade and commerce with the help of India. All three nations, India, Afghanistan and Iran share a common goal for stability in Afghanistan and maintaining peace and development in the whole region that can ensure long term interests of both India and Iran. During UPA government tenure when India wanted to force Iran for making investment into the port, Tehran apparently showed reluctance to make an investment thinking it will drain out its precious foreign exchange reserves. At the same time Iran was adamant that its Bandar Abbas port will be sufficient for handling Iranian trade and commerce and therefore further investment into Chabahar may not be value for money. At that stage China, which is creating ruffles in the region by introducing an ambitious maritime silk route project, was keen to take over t
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