Iran Eyes Strategic Ties with India: FM

Iran Eyes Strategic Ties with India: FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran considers India as a reliable partner and pursues strategic relations with the South Asian state on the basis of long-term cooperation, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said.

Iran’s stance on interaction with India entails the establishment of strategic relations, Amirabdollahian said in a meeting with Indian Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, held in Tehran on Monday.

The Indian minister has visited Iran to sign a landmark deal on the development of Iran’s southeastern port city of Chabahar.

“We are prepared to promote cooperation with India with the bilateral and multilateral capacities and within the framework of BRICS and the Shanghai (Cooperation Organization),” Amirabdollahian added.

He noted that Iran regards India as a reliable partner with which it wants to work in long-term cooperation.

The foreign minister also hailed the agreement on the development of Chabahar Port as well as closer cooperation in the North-South Corridor as perfect opportunities for the expansion of trade ties.

For his part, the Indian minister said the conclusion of the contract for operation and equipment of Chabahar has marked a historical moment in the relations between the two countries and their regional connections.

Sonowal said the agreement is expected to boost trade between India and Iran, strengthen their cooperation, and allow India to take a more active role in the global supply chain and maritime sector.

The contract will also result in the creation of an alternative trade corridor benefitting India, Iran, Afghanistan, and the Central Asian states, he added.

According to the 10-year deal, signed in Tehran on Monday, Iran and India have agreed on the partnership of the India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL) in equipping and operation of the freight and container terminals of Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar.

India has undertaken to invest $120 million for the supply of strategic equipment of the Port and $250 million on the transport infrastructure of Chabahar.

India had agreed in 2016 to finance the development of the Iranian port but the process was stalled two years later due to the US sanctions reimposed after Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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