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  1. Indian firms asked to go slow on Chabahar projects after rising Iran-US tensions

Indian firms asked to go slow on Chabahar projects after rising Iran-US tensions

Understanding the increasing tension between Iran and the United States, the Indian government has asked the Indian firms to go slow on the proposed projects in Chabahar Free Trade Zone.

By: | New Delhi | Published: March 29, 2017 12:12 PM
Iran-US tensions, india iran relations, india and iran, us bans iran, donal trump travel ban, travel ban, Chabahar projects, Chabahar Free Trade Zone, Department of Fertilisers India is keeping a close eye on the tension going on between Iran and the United States. (Source: IE image)

Since Donald Trump took over as the new President of the United States, the nation hasn’t shared a happy relation with Islamic countries. Understanding the increasing tension between Iran and the United States, the Indian government has asked the Indian firms to go slow on the proposed projects in Chabahar Free Trade Zone. This warning has been issued to make sure that financial transactions and technology imports of these companies do not get caught in the crossfire.

The first instruction was given to the Department of Fertilisers from the Ministry of External Affairs. The Sushma Swaraj led ministry asked the department to instruct state-run Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) to suspend further actions. This instruction has been issued since RCF was directed to shortlist the Iranian joint venture partner and firm up the feasibility report for the urea project in November last year. According to The Indian Express, MEA has asked the Department of Fertiliser to wait for some time before making any developments.

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India was one of the first countries to take advantage when former United States President, Barack Obama sanctions against Iran in January 2016. Back then, India took two berths at Chabahar port as well as a slew of gas-based projects like urea, petrochemicals, steel plants and LNG in the free trade zone. In order to find their feet in Iran, RCF and Gujarat State Chemicals & Fertilisers were looking for a reliable Iranian partner. Tadbir Energy Development Company was identified as the first choice option but negotiations were going on with other firms as well.

The travel ban imposed by Donald Trump on Iranian students has already made things tough for the country. It has left the future of already enrolled students hanging. “For us to not have access to that talent pool is a major, major blow. It is unimaginable in schools of engineering across the country to lose that talent,” said Kazem Kazerounian, dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut, which has accepted 15 Iranian students so far.

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