New Delhi: India has emerged as the sore loser of recent developments in Afghanistan if one considers New Delhi's foot-dragging on a major port project in southeastern Iran, a policy that was meant to comply with US sanctions, says an analyst.
Sanjay Kapoor wrote in his article for Hardnews on Monday that the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan had left India with almost nothing from Chabahar port development, a joint project with Iran which was meant to facilitate trade from the Indian Ocean to Central Asia.
"The huge Chabahar Port project in Iran, meant to allow India to side-step Pakistan and take the land route to Afghanistan and Central Asia, seems like a dead investment now -- a dream gone sour" read part of the analysis.Kapoor said that India was to blame for delays in finishing the Chabahar project as the country decided to adopt an overcautious approach to avoid potential penalties from US regime of sanctions on Iran.
That comes as Washington has provided India with sufficient waivers from the sanctions to allow works to continue in Chabahar.
"The current government in Delhi did not want to do anything to antagonize the US government after it had imposed sanctions on Iran," wrote Kapoor, adding that the US on the contrary chose to partner with Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to set up a new "connectivity route" in the region.
Iran has been unhappy with the way India has tried to comply with US sanctions. Quotes from Iranian sources in Hardnews article showed that India's foot-dragging on Iranian projects, including on a major gas field development work in the Persian Gulf, had also caused enough irritation Tehran.
The Indian government, through the periodic visits of its Foreign Minister, S Jaishankar, and other officials, has routinely expressed its commitment to complete the project. However, the Iranians have a different story to tell.
And it is not a happy story with a happy ending.