Economy, Business And Markets

India’s President: New Delhi Makes Most of Iran Projects

India’s President: New Delhi Makes Most of Iran ProjectsIndia’s President: New Delhi Makes Most of Iran Projects

Ahead of lifting of sanctions against Tehran, India’s President Pranab Mukherjee has pressed for reviving the long talked about Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline and using Chabahar Port to forge closer ties with Iran.

Addressing a conference on “Cooperative Development, Peace and Security in South and Central Asia”, Mukherjee said, “We must remain cognizant that our ties have been the closest and mutually beneficial only when we have had established routes of connectivity with each other... In this regard, we must make full use of opportunities offered by the recent Iranian nuclear deal which opens possibility of establishing connectivity with the region through development of Chabahar Port in Iran,” New Delhi TV reported.

In a deal reached in July with world powers, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, which till now have been prohibiting Indian firms from investing in the energy-rich nation.

The president said lifting of sanctions also opens up the possibility for India to implement the International North-South Corridor for a competitive and quick route to Eurasia. He also said Central Asian states have considerable surplus energy and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project is worth pursuing.

“The Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline can also be revived since Iran has already built a section of the pipeline in its territory. Such energy projects could also prove to be game-changers for geo-strategic stability,” Mukherjee said.

Sanctions against Iran and concerns of security over the pipeline passing through Pakistan had led to shelving the IPI project a few years back.

Mukherjee said India shares two main interests with the countries of that region, security and counter-terrorism on the one hand, and mutually beneficial economic engagement, including the use of energy and natural resources, on the other.

The conference was organized by Center for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, an autonomous research body where former prime minister Manmohan Singh, is a member.