Iran Current Affairs - 2020

India dropped from Construction of Chabahar-Zahedan Rail Project following Delays in Funding for the Project

The Iran Government has decided to drop India from the construction of the Chabahar Port-Zahedan Railway Line Project and now will be proceeding with the construction of the Project on its own.

This was informed by the Transport and Urban Development Minister of Iran during the inauguration of the Chabahar Port-Zahedan railway track laying process last week.

The Minister has further citied Delay of Funds from India as the reason for dropping off India from the Railway Project. He has further added that the Iranian Railways will be now proceeding with the project that will be completed by March 2022 and the funding of about USD 400 million for the project will be made from the Iranian National Development Fund.

Chabahar Port-Zahedan Rail Line Project

The agreement for the development of the Chabahar Port and for the construction of a 628 Km railway line from Chabahar port to Zahedan (41 Kms from the Tri-point: Border of three countries- Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) was signed as a part of India’s Commitment in development of Trade with Iran and Afghanistan.

This Railway Project if completed by India would have served India an alternative Trade Route with Afghanistan and the Rest of Central Asian Countries.

For the Railway Line Construction, Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Indian Government’s IRCON International Limited (Indian Railway Construction Limited) and the Iranian Railways during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran back in 2016.

Indian Navy Completes ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ by bringing 3,992 Indian Citizens back to Homeland

‘Samudra Setu’ meaning ‘Sea Bridge’, In an effort to repatriate Indian Citizens from overseas, the Operation Samudra Setu was launched on 5th May 2020 by the Indian Navy. The Operation Samudra Setu lasted over 55 days in which 3,992 Indian Citizens were brought back to their homeland by the sea route by the Indian Navy.

Evacuation Operation like Samudra Setu was last conducted by the Indian Navy back in 2015 during Operation Rahat when 5600 people (960 were Foreign Nationals, Remaining Indian Citizens) were evacuated from Yemen.

Naval Ships participated in Samudra Setu

Amphibious transport dock -INS Jalashwa, and 3 Landing Ship Tanks- INS Airavat, INS Shardul, and INS Magar.

Under the Operation, these 4 Indian Navy Ships have streamed more than 23,000 kilometers to bring back the Indian Citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic from Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Iran.

Operation Samudra Setu

The Evacuation Operation Samudra Setu began on 8th May with INS Jalashwa evacuating 698 Indian Citizens from the capital city of Maldives- Male. While on 25th June, INS Jalashwa made the last evacuation drive under the operation by bringing 687 Indian Citizens back to India from Iran’s Bandar Abbas port.

The greatest challenge for the Indian Navy was to ensure that there was no incident of the outbreak of the COVID-19 infection on any of the onboarded ships during the entire Operation. The Indian Navy has successfully completed the entire Operation by strictly taking the planned measures and safety protocols.