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India, Iran boost strategic ties
February 19, 2018, 9:04 am

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani (left) has told India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the two countries are strategic partners [Image: BRICS2015]

India and Iran have just completed a round of negotiations which saw the two countries boost their economic ties despite Washington’s pressure on Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in New Delhi this weekend to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sign nine new trade agreements.

The agreements include the development of the strategic port of Chabahar in Iran.

India intends to lease two berths at Chabahar for 10 years. The port will be developed through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which will invest $85.21 million to convert the berths into a container terminal and a multi-purpose cargo terminal.

The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is pivotal to India’s efforts to open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests.

“We are ready to sign bilateral and trilateral agreements to turn the transit route passing through Chabahar into a strategic pathway serving the reinforcement of regional ties,” Modi said of the deal.

Modi praised the deal saying that it expands New Delhi’s connectivity to reach other markets. India has already exported wheat from Chabahar to Afghanistan

“We will support the construction of the Chabahar-Zahedan rail link so that Chabahar gateway’s potential could be fully utilized,” Modi said.

“We want to expand connectivity, cooperation in the energy sector and the centuries-old bilateral relationship,” he added.

Iran is India’s second largest supplier of crude oil.

Rouhani says that that Iran and India have “very good cooperation” in the two sectors of “transit and energy”.

Tehran has always maintained that New Delhi is “strategic partner and cannot forget the support India extended to Iran during its difficult times”.

“Indian companies are ready to further their investment in the areas of mutual cooperation, including oil and gas,” Modi said.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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