No US Sanctions on Chabahar Port | 13 Dec 2021

Why in News

Recently, the External Minister of India replied in the Parliament that the US sanctions on Iran have no bearing on India’s Chabahar port project and the port is functioning well.

  • The US has given separate exceptions for the strategic Chabahar port project. 

Key Points

  • About Chabahar Port:
    • It is located in the Indian Ocean in the Sistan province of Iran.
    • The Chabahar port is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries.
    • The port, which is easily accessible from India's western coast, is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar Port which is being developed with Chinese investment.
  • Importance of Chabahar Port for India:
    • Alternate Route: Chabahar Port provides an option of alternate supply route to everyone, thus reducing the importance of Pakistan with respect to trade.
    • Strategic Requirements: It is located on the Gulf of Oman and is only 72 km away from the Gwadar port in Pakistan which has been developed by China.
    • Connectivity: In future, the Chabahar project and the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) will complement each other by optimising Indian connectivity with Russia and Eurasia.
      • Also, it gives India direct access to Afghanistan and other Central Asian Republics
  • Reasons for Exception in US Sanctions:
    • In Interest of Afghanistan: The US acknowledges that the Chabahar port project is not just only in India’s or Iran’s strategic interest but also in Afghanistan’s strategic interest.
      • Afghanistan is a landlocked country which depends on Pakistan for trade. All its trade goes largely through the Pakistani ports.
      • Pakistan denies transit to India for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia.
      • This project provides Afghanistan a strategic alternative and helps it to escape being landlocked in a sense.
    • Bypassing Pakistan: If in future, issues between America and Iran get resolved, then Chabahar Port will enable America to bypass Pakistan.
      • Pakistan still controls all the administrative routes by which Afghanistan can be supplied.
      • US has always remained hesitant to act on terrorists, specifically Afghan Talibans, due to that. Chabahar Port gives an option to America to take action against such terrorists.

Source: IE