The Indians and the Iranians have a joint interest in developing the Chabahar Port for providing an alternative line of communication to Afghanistan. (Representational Image)
The Obama Administration has not expressed any objection to the recent signing of a pact by India and Iran to develop the Chabahar port, a top US think-tank expert has said.
"Because it is so important for both India and Iran, the project would continue irrespective of what the US says," Ashley Tellis of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said yesterday.
"I do not believe that the Administration has complained in any way about the Indian investment in Chabahar," Mr Tellis told a group of White House reporters during a briefing ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's US visit next week.
"My sense is that there are a few Senators and constituencies on the Hill that are concerned about what that means, particularly not only for the bilateral relationship between India and Iran, but what that means for strengthening the Iranian regime," he said in response to a question.
But this is one area where India has demonstrated "enormous amount of independence" right from the beginning.
"I think, our ability to constrain India from moving ahead of that deal is extremely low. The Indians and the Iranians have a joint interest in providing an alternative line of communication to Afghanistan," he noted.
Responding to a question, Mr Tellis said the killing of Taliban leader Mullah Mansour sent a signal to Pakistan that the US is willing to do certain things unilaterally, if Islamabad does not play a more forward leaning role.
"Whether this represents the beginning of a shift in US policy towards Pakistan, I think, it is too early to tell," he said, adding that "the Americans have now reached the conclusion that there are limits to which they can reassure the Pakistanis about Indian activities in Afghanistan."