China and Iran are on the verge of signing an economic and strategic agreement worth $400 billion, but India wants to ensure that the Chabahar project in the West Asian country doesn’t see any Chinese involvement.
This was among the reasons why External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who is travelling to Moscow Tuesday for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s foreign ministers’ meeting, made a stopover in Iran’s capital Tehran to meet his counterpart Javad Zarif.
The meeting was planned some time ago, when Jaishankar confirmed his participation at the SCO meeting. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who had also gone to Moscow last week, had made a stop in Iran on his return.
The China-Iran agreement, which will overshadow the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, is set to include a major port development project on the Strait of Hormuz. India is concerned that the deal is set to be signed at a time when it hasn’t been able to complete the Chabahar Port project due to the stringent American sanctions imposed on Iran, diplomatic sources told ThePrint.
The sources said once the Chinese gain entry into that country, they may also try to “grab” the Chabahar project.