Iran drops India from key rail project citing 'funding delays' | Eurasia Diary -

12 August, Wednesday

Iran drops India from key rail project citing 'funding delays'

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Iran has reportedly dropped India from a key rail project along the border with Afghanistan after New Delhi showed reluctance in joining the project due to US sanctions, according a report by an Indian newspaper, reports citing Aljazeera.

The Iranian government decided to proceed with the long-stalled project without India's participation, citing delays in funding and starting the project, English language daily The Hindu reported on Tuesday.

The project, which is scheduled to be completed by March 2022, has started with about $400m funding from the Iranian government, the paper reported.

"It was expected that in addition to the investment in Chabahar Port, India could also play a more crucial role ... in the absence of an active Indian engagement and partnership, [the port is] currently under construction by Iranian funding and engineering capacities," the Hindu reported that Iranian sources said.

The deal to construct 628-km (390 miles) railway line from the port city of Chabahar to Zahedan province was part of a series of bilateral agreements signed between India and Iran in May 2016.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a 2016 trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan to develop a transport and trade corridor from India to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port in southeast Iran.

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