Chabahar port

Iranian Muddle

Given India's own civilisational-cultural-economic stakes with Iran, the drift of Tehran towards Beijing could not have come at a worse time. With India‘s own geostrategic investments in the Chabahar port in Iran faltering, detrimental developments in Afghanistan, and the commercial implications of being unable to conduct Indo-Iranian trade due to the sanctions, the overall situation is grim. The possible linkages of the Chabahar imperatives with the Gwadar facility could be disastrous for Delhi. Besides, an energy-hungry economy like India always counted upon the Iranians as amongst the top three suppliers of oil

India committed to connectivity with Afghanistan, Central Asia: Jaishankar

“The Chabahar Port has not only emerged as a commercial transit hub for the region but also facilitated the delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially during the pandemic. The port is part of our shared commitment towards peace, stability and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan,” external affairs Minister S Jaishankar said.

China’s Iran Game

China is the only major player still active in the Iranian oil patch. In contrast to virtually all major Western governments, Beijing allows its companies to do business there. China considers sanctions against Iran as an opportunity to secure huge fields and markets which might have gone to Western companies in the absence of sanctions

Collateral Damage

There is the worry of reputational damage from the idea that India gave in to US sanctions, a departure from the past. Chinas growing inroads in Iran could make Indian projects there more unviable. The largest worry is that Chabahar, the enduring symbol of India-Iran friendship, could become collateral damage in a larger proxy war between the US and China

Dumped by Iran

China has taken advantage of Iran's current weak position as its economy is under strain because of harsh US sanctions and negotiated a pact from a position of strength. It is going to have easy access to Iran's natural resources for many years to come.