India's plan to counter the growing Chinese influence in Pakistan by developing a deep sea port in Iran may be left in a limbo with Iran dropping India from a railway project.
The rail line which plans to connect Iran's Chabahar port with Zahedan and further with Afghanistan was to be jointly constructed by Indian Railways Construction Ltd (IRCON) and Iranian Railways in line with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached between the two parties in 2016.
But now, as per media reports, the Iranian Transport and Urban Development Ministry has decided to proceed with the rail line on its own without taking India's assistance.
Reports suggest that delays in funding and starting the project on India's part have prompted Iran to take this decision.
The decision has also come in the backdrop of Iran inching towards finalizing a 25-year strategic deal with China under which the latter would reportedly invest around 400 billion US dollars.
India had earlier zeroed out its oil imports from Iran to avoid attracting US sanctions. The said delay by India might also be a result of the growing rift between Iran and the US.