This episode of Policy Beyond Borders with Dr Shelly Johny , explores the geostrategic significance and challenges for India with respect to the recent historic agreement between India and Iran for developing and operating the Chabahar port, granting India full management of the Shahid Beheshti Port for 10 years.

Key Takeaways

1. The Chabahar port agreement allows India to operate and develop the Shahid Beheshti terminal in Chabahar for the next 10 years, with India planning to invest heavily in the project. The port allows India to expand its trade with landlocked Central Asian nations like Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan via Iran. The execution of this project has various benefits along with significant challenges.

2. Considering the persistent threat of the US sanctions on Chabahar, India has made it clear that it will try to convince the benefits of the deal with the US. In case of sanctions, India would push back harder than it has done in the past.

3. The regional threat from Saudi Arabia might subside due to the recent rapprochement with Iran and its realization of Iran’s dominance in West Asia.

4. China’s BRI project is not appealing to different nations due to the debt trap and loss of sovereignty for the countries involved. The chances of China impeding the progress of the Chabahar project are low due to its relationship with Iran. The only action China can take is to increase its investment in Gwadar port to reach its full potential.

5. The death of late president Ebrahim Raisi will not affect Tehran’s approach toward India as the Chabahar project is in the long-term interest of Iran as it can diversify its economy and create an environment where Iran is seen as an important partner in various infrastructural projects.

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