PM Modi in Iran to strike the pact on Chabahar port development


Tehran. Prime Minister Narendra Modi accorded ceremonial welcome this morning in Iran as he met Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani for discussions over deepening trade, investment and energy ties. The flagship of the visit is a trilateral pact on developing the Chabahar port, which swill give access to central Asia.

  • PM Modi being the first prime Minister to trip Iran on bilateral visit in last 15 years comes four months after the sanctions on Iran were lifted and the international community is re-engaging with the nation.
  • After the welcome, PM Modi and the Iran President held a “restricted tete-a-tete” talk. PM Modi will also meet Country’s supreme religious and political leader Ayotollah Khamenei.
  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is also supposed to join for the signing of agreement on Chabahar, a strategic port in the Gulf of Oman on Iran’s southern coast with Afghanistan.
  • This pact will allow India to transport goods to Afghanistan and Central Asia using the sea-land route bypassing Pakistan.
  • India will invest around $200 million in the first phrase to develop terminals and cargo berths at Chabahar. While India plans to build a 500-km railway track in between Chabahar and Zahedan in the next phrase.
  • Pakistan doesn’t let India to pass goods to Afghanistan through its territory and has only recently begun to pass a trickle of afghan exports to cross through India.
  • India's move is also being seen as a balance to China's influence in Pakistan. India wants to develop the port as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar port, which was built with Chinese assistance and is 72 km from Chabahar.
  • Energy security, bilateral trade and connectivity are on the top of the focus of PM Modi’s Iran visit. He will also inaugurate an Indian cultural fest in Iran.
  • After arriving in Tehran last evening, the PM tweeted in Persian, "Reached Iran, a land with which India shares civilizational ties. Hope to enhance economic partnership between our nations." On Sunday evening, PM Modi addressed the Indian community and visited a Gurdwara in Tehran.
  • Indian refiners have cleared part of the $6.4 billion owed to Iran for crude oil imports in euros through Turkey's Halkbank, three sources privy to the payment said on Saturday.