Indian Prime Minister Modi is on a two day visit to Iran looking to strengthen infrastructure, connectivity and energy ties. It is expected that he would sign on long pending deal on development of Chabahar port. After 4 months of lifting sanctions against Iran by USA has opened the doors for business for the latter and India wants to monetize this opportunity with strategic partnerships.
Here are five crucial issues which would be discussed
- Chabahar Port
It can be the main agenda of Modi’s visit to Iran. The long pending Chabahar project will be on the final mode after more than a decade discussion. The talk among India, Iran and Afghanistan started back in 2003, but didn’t trade off due to international sanctions on Iran in 2006. However, Iran reached an agreement with P5+1 countries limit its uranium enrichment program in 2013 and thus it paved the way for Tehran to start expanding its business with India and other countries.
According to Ministry of External Affairs, India Ports Global Pvt Ltd will sign a deal with Arya Bandar Company of Iran, jointly developing two terminals and 5 multi cargo berths in Phase-1. India will invest $200 million for the initial phase.
- Transit Corridor
India will also sign a trilateral agreement with Iran and Afghanistan – a transit corridor bypassing three countries. It will be a boost for the landlocked Afghanistan as this deal would provide road access Chabahar port to Zaranj in Afghanistan.
India is one of the biggest buyers of Iran’s crude oil. Due to sanctions imposed on Iran, India was not able to pay its dues owned by Indian refineries – but before the PM’s visit India paid $1.2 billion in Euros out of the $6.4 billion.
- Indian Refineries
A consortium headed by ONGC Videsh, the overseas exploration unit of ONGC discovered the Farzad – B Gas field in the Persian offshore block in 2008, since then it has not moved forward much. However, it is expected that Modi will put emphasis on accelerating this project.
- Cultural Ties
The age old friendship between Iran and India will be revived through increasing cultural ties through various programs and activities. A major international conference titled ‘India and Iran, two great civilizations – Retrospect and Prospect ‘will be organized.
Source: Business Standard