India implodes its own new Silk Road

  2 comments   |     by Pepe Escobar

There was a time when New Delhi was proudly selling the notion of establishing its own New Silk Road – from the Gulf of Oman to the intersection of Central and South Asia opening access from Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia from the Arabian Sea – to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.  Now it looks like the Indians have stabbed themselves in the back.In 2016, Tehran and New Delhi signed a deal to build a 628-kilometer rail line from Iran’s strategic Chabahar port to inland city Zahedan, very close to the Afghan border, with a crucial extension to Zaranj, in Afghanistan, and beyond. 

The negotiations involved Iranian Railways and Indian Railway Constructions Ltd. But in the end, nothing happened – because of Indian foot-dragging. So Tehran decided to build the railway anyway, with its own funds – US$400 million – and completion scheduled for March 2022. 

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