India willing to play bigger part in Iran’s economic projects: Ambassador
Indian ambassador to Tehran says his country is willing to play a bigger part in various economic projects in Iran, including in the development of the southeastern Iranian port city of Chabahar.
According to Fars news agency, in a meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday, the outgoing Indian envoy, Dinkar Prakash Srivastava, also announced New Delhi’s readiness to take part in the development of Iran’s economic projects, especially those related to petrochemical sector.
He noted that India’s Minister of Transportation Nitin Gadkari will pay a visit to Iran in the near future to sign a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of development projects in Chabahar port.
During the meeting, Zarif, for his part, expressed hope that cooperation between the two countries will further develop in the light of longstanding relations between Tehran and New Delhi.
Zarif emphasized that India is a major partner for Iran in various projects, including development of coastal installations in Iran’s Chabahar port.
“Development of Chabahar port can give a further boost to trilateral cooperation among Iran, Afghanistan and India,” Zarif added.
During recent years, India has frequently indicated its willingness to participate in various economic and development projects in Iran.
That willingness has been increased after Iran and P5+1 group – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, which led to relative loosening of sanctions against Iran, paving the way for further cooperation in various economic fields between Iran and other countries.
The sanctions were imposed at the beginning of 2012 by the US and EU claiming that there is a military aspect to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, an allegation Iran categorically rejected.
The two sides also reached a mutual understanding in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2, which will be used as a framework for the formulation of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Earlier in April, India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd indicated its interest in developing Iran’s Farzad B gas field in the Persian Gulf waters, which is estimated to hold 21.68 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in place, of which 12.8 tcf is recoverable.
The New Delhi-based Business Standard newspaper also reported last week that India is moving closer to finalizing a crucial plan to invest in Iran’s southern Chabahar port, which would open a new economic corridor rival to what China plans to do in Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
It added that India’s Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari will finalize a deal on the project during his forthcoming visit to Iran which is expected to take place in near future.