New Delhi: India and Iran will be discussing the progress on the deepwater Chabahar port during the ongoing visit of Iranian Premier Hassan Rouhani.
Iran feels that the project has got stuck due to American pressure on other countries and the also due to the newly imposed sanctions on the country.
India is already routing a consignment of 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar port. The $85 million port project, just 90 km from the China-sponsored Gwadar port in Pakistan, is significant as it gives a transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan ‘bypassing’ Pakistan.
Operationalisation of the Chabahar port, which is strategically located in Iran and gives India access to landlocked Afghanistan, is on the top of the agenda.
Rouhani’s visit comes a month after the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The visit is being seen as India’s act of balancing the relationship in the west Asian region. Iran and Israel have a strained relationship, but since India has ‘strategic interests’ with both countries, government officials had earlier said that New Delhi needs to carefully balance bilateral ties with both.