Iran on Wednesday threw its weight behind the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as well as its flagship project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a day after reports surfaced that Tehran has dropped India from a key project linked to Chahbahar Port. In a statement, Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said the BRI and CPEC are beneficial for the regional development, particularly for China, Iran and Pakistan. Without explicitly mentioning India by name, the Iranian envoy defended his country’s recent decision to drop New Delhi from a key Chahbahar Port project. “When some foreign governments found reluctant in their relations with Iran and need other’s permission for their even normal interactions, for sure they won’t be capable of planning and implementing such long- term cooperation contracts,” he said. Hosseini was all praise for BRI and CPEC, in an unprecedented move suggesting a major shift in Iran’s foreign policy. “Undoubtedly, Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor are suitable platforms for the development of regional cooperation, especially for the three countries of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of China, which can be a unique model of development not only for us, but as a model of cooperation for other countries in our region,” the statement said.The statement by ambassador came amid reports that Iran dropped India from key Chahbahar to Zahedan railway project and started the project from its own resources. India media claimed that India was kicked out from the project after Iran entered a massive 25-year $400 billion strategic partnership deal with China. But the Iranian ambassador dismissed the Indian media claims saying the 25-year deal was a public document, contrary to reports in the media.