India received a massive seemingly expected blow from its Islamic ally Iran during these hard times of COVID-19 pandemic. What appeared to be blessing a back in May-2016 when Indian PM Narendra Modi visited the Islamic neighbour of Pakistan and signed the strategically fruitful infrastructure deal with the Iranian and Afghanistan leadership has been marred by the Iran. This was the first visit to Iran after 15 years by any Indian Prime Minister. India signed an MOU permitting it to equip an operate 2 berths of the strategic Chabahar port and to facilitate and invest in connecting the port with Afghanistan via rail and road route. India has already developed a 240km long route connecting Chabahar port with Afghanistan.


  • China under its expansionist communist regime has been camouflaging and engulfing the economically weaker nations especially the neighbours of India by lending loans knowing the fact that the countries would default and therefore it will get a territorial control in return for the failure to repay the loan by those countries. Hambanthota port of Sri Lanka went into china’s possession for a period of 99 years lease. Pakistan is under tremendous debt pressure from China which has further got worsened by the Gwadar port- built and operated by China. India faces two repercussions- firstly, its neighbour will get dependent upon China thereby sidelining India’s importance and secondly, China may deploy its defence/ military forces and create military forces upon India.
  • The strategic CHINA PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (CPEC) has undermined the political and territorial interests of the Indian sovereignty in the northern parts of the Kashmir.
  • Access to the central Asia mainland and linking the North-South corridor i.e. Asia-Russia- Europe via Iran and Afghanistan can be possible if India gets control of the Chabahar and strategic trade and economic routes in Iran.
  • The land connectivity between India and Pakistan has been shielded by the geographical presence of politically unsound and territorially audacious Pakistan. India started air cargo trade with Afghanistan. While operating via Chabahar port India can establish a trade route with Afghanistan and other central Asian nations without having to wait for Pakistani’s clearances.
  • The Gwadar port of Pakistan under the control by Pakistan can be effectively countered by India’s presence at the Chabahar port. Moreover, it will help reduce Afghanistan’s dependence on Pakistan for trade with other South-East Asian and African countries for trade. Afghanistan is a landlocked country and shares a strong bond with India both politically, culturally and hold strong historical significance.

Iran’s Look East policy can be bolstered by the connecting with its Eastern and North Eastern Asian states. The trilateral agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran was to construct a 628 km long rail network connecting the Chabahar port with the Iranian city of Zahedan on the borders with Afghanistan. The same was to be extended to Afghanistan’s city of Zaranj. IRCON- the Indian Railway Construction company conducted several site visits and surveys however, the Iranian authorities cited delay in funding and project mobilization. Iranian Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami inaugurated the project and announced it will finance the project with $400 million from its own National Development fund and ousted India from the same. They have been pessimistic of the fact that no progress has been made by the Indian side despite Iran’s request for the same during its Foreign Minister’s visit to India in January this year.

The President of the United States of America- Donald Trump imposed sanctions of Iran to counter its ambition for emerging as a power centre of the Asian sub-continent by developing its nuclear facilities and thriving upon its petroleum reserves. India was a major oil importer from Iran. Owing to the sanctions imposed by the USA, India cancelled its oil import from Iran.

However, the Chabahar port escaped the brunt of these sanctions. Why? Certainly, because USA too has interests in the Chabahar port. USA deploys hundreds and thousands of its troops in the land locked nation of Afghanistan and its naval forces can have access to Afghanistan via Iran as against the Pakistan’s port Gwadar operated by their Chinese counterparts.

Iran was infuriated by India’s stand to these sanctions. It has expected India to support Iran’s agenda and counter US’s stand against them. However, India took a passive approach to Iran’s expectations. The situation got worsened when the top Iranian leadership condemned the Delhi riots this year and expressed their dismay at the Modi government’s incapability to tackle the riots. This might have made the Modi led authorities disinterested in their Iranian prospectus.

Though India has been supplying Afghanistan with wheat, medicines and other utilities via Chabahar port, it still has not announced any relief package for Iran in the corona times.

Further, Iran is in progress of giving a 25 years long strategic partnership deal worth $400 billion with China. The decision on same is resting for approval with the Iran’s parliament.

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