World Bulletin / News Desk
China has offered Iran 60 million Euros (US$78.27 million) to upgrade its Chabahar Port on the Persian Gulf near Tehran’s border with Pakistan, The Indian Express reported on Monday.
The newspaper quoted a note India’s Ministry of External Affairs sent to the shipping industry as saying that “China could finance the project to keep India out of Chabahar and protect its investment in Gwadar port (in Pakistan).”
India has long been involved in the construction and maintenance of Chabahar Port, which Delhi uses as a transit point to Afghanistan. Chabahar Port has become all the more essential to India since China agreed to formally assume control over Pakistan’s Gwadar Port last February.
Last month, during a trip to Tehran, India’s Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said India could provide up to US$100 million to Iran to upgrade the port, despite pressure from the United States against such a project.
However, The Indian Express reports that Iran has not given the official go-ahead for the project yet, and in light of the Chinese bid, Delhi will seek to fast-track negotiations with Iran over securing the contract to upgrade Iran’s port.
Financing the upgrade to Chabahar Port would significantly strengthen China’s position in the Middle East. With the assumption of operations at the port in Gwadar, Iran stands as the last country separating China’s presence in Pakistan from its growing role in Iraq’s oil industry and the greater Persian Gulf.Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2013, 18:10