03:50 GMT +320 January 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The hostilities between Iran and the US reached a flashpoint last week when a top Iranian commander was killed in a strike on the orders of President Donald Trump. In retaliation, Iran attacked US military bases in Iraq on Wednesday, 8 January.

    India, which did not immediately react after the missile attack, expressed concern and asked for de-escalation of the situation at the earliest.

    “We're closely monitoring the situation. Peace, security and stability in the region are of utmost importance to us. We would like the situation to de-escalate as quickly as possible. We are talking to several stakeholders”, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.

    New Delhi also expressed concern over Chabahar Port, which is being developed by India. The port would foster Indian trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, bypassing Pakistan and cut the shipment cost by 60 percent and shipping time from India to Central Asia by half.

    “We will also appreciate if the US continues its approach towards Iranian Chabahar Port which provides connectivity to Afghanistan”, Kumar said.

    Situated on the Indian Ocean in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Chabahar Port is easily accessible from India’s west coast.

    Indian analysts have cautioned the country about taking careful stance in maintaining the balance of power due to the potential impact of the conflict on its geopolitics.

    Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia are India’s key suppliers of crude oil. In 2018-19, Iraq topped Indian crude suppliers, leaving behind Saudi Arabia. Iraq getting caught in the US-Iran conflict might lead to inflation flaring up in India.

    Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force Qasem Soleimani was killed on 3 January in a US drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad Airport. In retaliation, Tehran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at American military facilities in Iraq. 

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    Tags:
    Chabahar Port, Middle East, US military, Qasem Soleimani, US, Iraq, India
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