NEW DELHI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has come to India with the various purpose for three- day visit of the country which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of India Ram Nath Kovind greeted at Rashtrapati Bhawan today.
PM Modi said India-Iran ties have strengthened under Mr. Rouhani’s leadership. “We want to develop connectivity and trade. We want to strengthen our strong cultural ties.
Landlocked Afghanistan has got a golden gateway in Chabahar… We will support the rail link,” PM Modi said. India and Iran also inked on nine agreements, including on easing visa rules and cooperation on medical sector, apart from a maritime agreement on Chabahar Port development.
Some updates have been given below-
- PM Modi and Mr Rouhani held “substantive and productive discussion on cooperation in trade and investment, energy, connectivity, defence, security and regional issues,”
- India and Iran have been hoping to iron out several issues, particularly the progress on the deepwater Chabahar Port that Iran feels has got stuck due to the US pressure on other countries and the latest set of sanctions against Iran.
- India is already routing a consignment of 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar port. The $85 million port project, just 90 km from the China-sponsored Gwadar port in Pakistan, is significant as it gives a transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
- India imports oil and gas from Iran, but negotiations have been pending on Farzad-B gas and oil fields in south Iran, which India has expressed interest in.
- A 21-member delegation of ministers and businessmen from Iran is accompanying him and they are looking to seal a number of deals.
- A major geopolitical decision is Indians can invest in Iranian infrastructure and connectivity projects in rupees, making Iran the only country apart from Bhutan and Nepal to get this privilege.
- Iran has said it will simplify visa norms for Indians so that people to people ties could improve.
- The Iranian President visited the Salar Jung Museum, Golconda Fort and Qutb Shahi Tomb in Hyderabad. This was his second visit to Hyderabad and the first after becoming Iran’s President in 2013. Mr Rouhani, who is a Shia, visited the Sunni mosque Mecca Masjid and called for unity among Muslims.
- The President Rouhani condemned the travel ban imposed by US President Donald Trump on some countries by branding Muslims as terrorists. He said Islam is based on kindness and affection.