0548 GMT January 16, 2022
In 2015, India agreed to help develop Iran's Chabahar port and an associated railway that would enable India to trade with Afghanistan, the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report for the members of the US Congress, PTI reported on Friday.
Prepared for the lawmakers for them to take informed decision, the report, running into nearly 100 pages, said that in May 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Iran and signed an agreement to invest $500 million to develop the port and related infrastructure.
Even though the Trump administration gave India the "Afghanistan reconstruction" exception from its punitive Iranian sanctions, India largely stopped work on the project until late 2020. "It accelerated work in early 2021 and the port is expected to be declared operational no later than May 2021," said the CRS report.
India reduced its imports of Iranian oil substantially after 2011, but, after the sanctions were eased in 2016, India's oil imports from Iran increased to as much as 800,000 bpd in July 2018 — well above 2011 levels.
India paid Iran the $6.5 billion it owed for oil purchased during 2012-2016. India has not imported Iranian oil since May 2019.