Refuting a claim made by Indian media that New Delhi had been "dropped" from the Chabahar-Zahedan railway project, an Iran deputy stated that no deal was ever inked with India.
"Totally false because Iran has not inked any deal with India regarding the Chabahar-Zahedan railway,” one of the deputies to Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization, Farhad Montaser told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
"Iran has only signed two agreements with Indians for investment in Chabahar: one is related to the port's machinery and equipment, and the second is related to India's investment to the tune of $150 million," Montaser added.
Sanctions have nothing to do to Iran-India's cooperation in Chabahar, he further stated. In 2018, the United States had agreed to a waiver on Chabahar port projects under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act (IFCA) of 2012.
The clarification came two days after, the Iranian government decided to move ahead with the construction of a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan on its own, citing funding delay by the Indian government.
The massive project would be completed by March 2022 and the country’s railways would proceed without assistance from India and will use approximately $400 million from the Iranian National Development Fund.
Reportedly, Iran’s move to drop partnership with India comes as it finalises a sweeping 25-year economic and security partnership with China worth $400 billion. This partnership would expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects.
Earlier, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani had described the Chabahar Port as a "vital part of structuring Iran''s economic future".