Economy, Domestic Economy

Zarif Will Discuss Chabahar Project in New Delhi

Zarif Will Discuss Chabahar Project in New DelhiZarif Will Discuss Chabahar Project in New Delhi

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is to visit India starting Friday in what will be the first visit to the country by a top Iranian official after Tehran’s landmark nuclear agreement with the West on July 14, Indian daily the Economic Times reported.

Zarif is scheduled to meet with top Indian officials including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to give a leg up to Chabahar Port development project which is crucial for India’s access to Central Asia.

Gadkari visited Iran in May to sign an MoU for development of the project which is expected to become operational by December next year.

“Great potential for cooperation exists between India and Iran. Iran offers access to India through Chabahar and Bandar Abbas ports and through the north-south corridor to Central Asia, Afghanistan, Russia, the Caucasus region and even Turkey,’’ said Iran’s ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari ahead of the visit.

Modi met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently in Ufa on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit where he accepted the Iranian president’s invite to visit Iran.

“We look forward to Premier Modi’s visit, which would give the required impetus to bilateral ties and to firm up a strategic partnership,” Ansari said, describing the Ufa meeting as “useful”.

He also thanked India for extending all possible help to Iran during the sanctions years that is now coming to an end with an agreement with world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program.

“It [sanctions regime] has brought us together. India opened a credit line which helped in easing economic pressure on Iran,” adding that India’s dues of $8 billion can be utilized for setting up major developmental projects in Iran.