Banking on Iran
Apropos of edit “Investing in Iran” (FE, February 18), the lifting fo sanctions against Iran is a good development. India’s presence in Chabahar will offset the Chinese presence in the Pakistani port of Gwadar. It also takes advantage of the centuries-old connection with Iran. Since the Indian government did not take up the project earnestly, Iran leased out port of Chabahar Port to an Iranian company Arya Bandar but Iran did not disclose that it had leased the port. Lack of coordination between Indian ministries is also affecting the important Chabahar project. Iran wanted a loan for developing the rail network from port. In spite of the Indian ministry of external affairs stressing the urgency, the department of financial services and ministry of railways did not move with the desired speed for reasons unknown. As per the deal in May 2015, the contract was supposed to be signed by November last year. If the government does not have the money, it should have roped in the private sector. Iran had hinted that India could lose out on Chabahar and the associated railway line to Zahedan if there was further delayed by India in providing monetary support for them. Now, the Iranian State Railways will undertake the construction. India will be limited to just financing.
MM Gurbaxani, Bengaluru