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Indo-Iran Chahbahar Port, India wants to counter CPEC

BEIJING: The recent Indo-Iran deal to develop the Chabahar Port is a strategy to gain access to the Middle East and Central Asia and to counter Pakistan-China’s plan(CPEC) to develop Gwadar port.

“Actually, Chabahar is just the tip of the iceberg of India’s geostrategic ambitions. Besides building new berths and upgrades to Chabahar, what interests New Delhi more is a comprehensive scheme that can reshape India’s geopolitics to the northwest and extend its influence further into the Middle East, Central Asia and the Trans-Caucasus,” an article in the state-run Global Times said today.

“The sea-land route of Chabahar Port is designed to bypass Pakistan. With the new route, some Indian strategists suggest that India can take further advantage of its ties with Iran and Afghanistan and gain new leverage and positioning while reducing Pakistan’s political and economic influence in the region,” the report said.

China and Pakistan are currently building a USD 46 billion economic corridor CPEC to connect their country to Gawadar port.

1.Iran may not always align itself with India’s geostrategic goals.

2.China is also crucial to Tehran’s core interests.

  1. Iran never publicly articulated its opposition to the Sino-Pakistani project in Gwadar. Instead, it had aided the project by providing fresh water and fuel,” it said.
  2. China is Iran’s biggest importer of the Oil and Iran will never want to annoy China against India.
  3. Iran may again face US sanctions over its missile programme and the trade with Iran and through Iran may again go into doldrums.
  4. Chahbahar is not as a deep sea port as Gwadar port of Pakistan is and the heavily loaded ships may not anchor at Chahbahar unlike Gwadar.
  5. India may not invest as much in cash starved Chahbahar as China is investing in Gwadar.
  6. Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics may not support India as much as they may China in their economic goals.
  7. India’s route to CAR states and Afghanistan through Chahbahar is much longer than the both Gwadar Port and the China itself hence reducing the time and money both for Pakistani and Chinese products.

10. The developing geo strategic situation vis a vis India heavily aligning with US and US going against Iran may trouble the Indo-Iran equation in future