TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran denied the report of a newspaper that India was dropped from a key railway project along the border with Afghanistan after it showed reluctance in investing, fearing American sanctions.
A deputy to Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, Farhad Montaser, called the story “totally false because Iran has not inked any deal with India regarding the Zahedan-Chabahr” railway, Al Jazeera reported.
“Iran has only signed two agreements with Indians for investment in Chabahar: One is related to the port’s machinery and equipment, and the second is related to India’s investment to the tune of $150 million,” Montaser was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“We had a list of Indian investments in Chabahar port, which also included the issue of Chabahar railway infrastructure and the railway, but during the negotiations, it was not agreed upon.”
He added, “Sanctions have nothing to do with the Iran-India cooperation in Chabahar.”
The Hindu newspaper reported on Tuesday that the Iranian government decided to proceed with the long-stalled rail project without India’s participation.
A track-laying ceremony for the Chabahar-Zahedan rail line was held last week. It will eventually stretch to Zaranj on the Afghan side, enabling hassle-free trade and movement.
The Indian consultancy IRCON has pledged to provide all services and funding for the project, estimated at about $1.6 billion, according to the Hindu report.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews