Iran assures India that Chabahar Port project will continue

Iranian ambassador welcomes any effort by India to de-escalate US-Iran tensions

US sanctions on Iran worse than Pulwama attacks: Ambassador Chegeni [File] Iran's ambassador to India Ali Chegeni

On a day that Iran fired ballistic missiles at US military bases in Iraq, prompting fears of a US-Iran conflict, the Iranian Ambassador to India, Dr Ali Chegeni, has assured India that the joint Chabahar Port project between India and Iran would continue.

“Chabahar Port is a symbol of very good friendship between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe, whole Persian Gulf. It does not belong only to Iran and India. Chabahar will go on, don't worry about it” Chegani was reported as saying by ANI.

"We are not looking for war. We are living in this region peacefully with our brothers and sisters including India. We don't want any tension/escalation in this region," he said.

Chegani added that Iran’s retaliation against the US for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani was demanded by the people.

“Whatever we have done is a part of our response. Millions of people who participated in the funeral of General Qassem Soleimani had demanded the government for it. We have done it. We are not looking for war.”

Earlier, speaking to reporters in New Delhi on the morning of the strikes, Chegani said any moves by India to help de-escalate the US-Iran tensions would be welcomed. “India usually plays very good role in [maintaining] peace in the world. At the same time, India belongs to this region. We welcome all initiatives from all countries, especially India as a good friend for us, to now allow escalation [of tensions].”

On Wednesday, Iran launched ballistic missile strikes on two US military bases in Iraq, in retaliation against the January 3 killing of its Quds commander General Qassem Soleimani.