New Delhi, July 11: Iran on Tuesday, July 10, slammed India for not fulfilling its investment promises for the expansion of the Chabahar port and said that New Delhi will lose “special privileges” if it stops Iranian oil import and tries to source it from other countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, and the US.
Speaking at a seminar on ’emerging challenges and opportunities in the global diplomacy and its impact on bilateral ties with India’, Iran’s Deputy Ambassador and Charge d’Affaires Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi said that it will stop providing privileges to India if it sources oil import from other countries other than Iran.
“… If India were to replace Iran with countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the US and others for the 10 per cent of its oil demand then it may have to revert to dollar-denominated imports which mean higher CAD (Current Account Deficit) and deprivation of all other privileges Iran has offered to India,” Rahaghi said.
“It is unfortunate that Indian investment promises for expansion of Chabahar port and its connectivity projects have not been accomplished so far. It is expected that India takes immediate necessary measures in this regard if its cooperation and engagement in Chabahar port is of strategic nature,” he said.
The Chabahar port is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran, and Afghanistan with central Asian countries in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of fiscal 2017-18).
In May 2016, India, Iran, and Afghanistan had signed a pact which entailed the establishment of Transit and Transport Corridor using Chabahar port for sea transportation. Referring to the relation between the two countries, Rahaghi said his country has been a reliable energy partner for India ensuring the interest of both consumers and suppliers.
Earlier, the US has told India and other countries to cut oil imports from Iran to “zero” by November 4 or face sanctions.
Criticism from Iran came a few days after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that India is trying to make the strategic Chabahar port in Iran operational by 2019. “…India is trying to make Chabahar port in Iran operational by 2019… opening up of the Chabahar port would make the CIS countries more accessible,” the shipping minister said.
With PTI inputs