Iran wants India in “big ticket projects”
Iran says it will welcome India’s participation in various “big ticket projects” in diverse sectors including enhancing transport infrastructure in the region.
Iran’s Ambassador to India has told the country’s media that Tehran is eager to cooperate with New Delhi in mega connectivity projects in the region.
Gholamreza Ansari has specifically cited an agreement between the two countries over the development of Iran’s southeastern port of Chabahar as a key connectivity project.
“India can be always part of any big ticket projects in Iran,” Ansari told The Times of India in an exclusive interview.
Asked about the possibility of reviving the Iran-Pakistan- India gas pipeline project, the envoy said it was up to India and Pakistan to sort out their differences.
“We are not interfering on these sort of small issues. That’s their own problem. We do not get into these sorts of disputes. We are for big projects. It is up to them which project they want to be part of,” Ansari said.
The Iranian ambassador further emphasized that economic relations with India will grow following the nuclear breakthrough with the P5+1 in Vienna last month which is expected to lead to the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran.
Located on the confluence of the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman in southeastern Iran, Chabahar is India’s first foreign port project. Once completed, the project would enable India to send its goods from Chabahar to Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.
Originally floated in 2003 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government, the project has been consistently delayed due to various reasons.
Despite issues of viability, India wants to take up the Chabahar port as a strategic project, aimed at satisfying the immediate security interests of establishing a sea-land route into Afghanistan.
New Delhi has plans to build a road-railroad network from Chabahar to Milak in Iran in order to link it with the India-built 223-km Zaranj-Delaram road in Afghanistan so that aid could be pushed to Kabul and beyond, the Business Standard report added.