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India set to expand trade relations with Iran


New Delhi: A press report in Iran revealed that New Delhi was interested in inking a preferential trade agreement with Tehran once the global embargo related to trade was lifted.

“We have a good relationship with Iran. It is a good market for us in the long term,” the Economic Times newspaper quoted a “senior” commerce department official as saying.

If the agreement is sealed then it would be the first of its kind in India. Though the trade pact is in a conceptual stage, both India and Islamic Republic of Iran had expressed deep eagerness in the deal. However, no formal negotiations had been initiated.

New Delhi’s eagerness comes at a time when the Obama administration is slated to lift the embargo in January next year. Notably, the report filed by the nuclear watchdog of the United Nation said that there was a dearth of evidence that could prove that Iran was carrying out the process of uranium enrichment for developing nuclear arms. They had successfully justified its activities of the hard-water plants as well.

Earlier, the Manmohan Singh government in India had failed to implement the project of a gas pipeline which also involved Pakistan. It had allegedly irked the Tehran.

However, the Iran and the six-nations talks on the nuclear deals and the IAEA’s reports had cornered Tehran.

India had not explored the West Asian market before due to obvious reasons. Civil wars, militancy and religious fundamentalism in the west Asian counties did hinder business strategies.

However, currently India is spreading its market globally under the stewardship of Narendra Modi. The deal with the country would definitely provide a foothold to explore markets in the region.

Besides exporting chemicals, agricultural goods and automobile spares to Iran, India ranks second in importing crude oil from them.

A deal with them would not only be profitable for India, but it would bolster the economy of the country.

(With inputs from ET)

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Iran invites Pakistan to join Chabahar project with India

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement in 2016

Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Iran has invited Pakistan to join Chabahar port project
  • It is a very crucial port of great importance
  • India, Iran and Afghanistan have already signed a trilateral agreement in 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has invited Pakistan to participate in the Chabahar Port project that connects India to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, a leading Pakistani daily reported on Tuesday.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The move may be seen as Zarif’s bid to allay concerns here over the Indian involvement in the Iranian port, Dawn online reported. The Iranian minister also, meanwhile, extended the invitation to China.

“We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar,” Zarif, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Monday, according to the daily.

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement in 2016 to jointly develop the Chabahar port, opening a new strategic transit route between the three nations and other Central Asian nations, bypassing Pakistan. In November 2017, India delievered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

Zarif had earlier held bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif and addressed a trade conference. The visiting Foreign Minister is being accompanied by a large trade delegation from Iran.

He also said that Gwadar Port and Chabahar Port needed to be linked through sea and land routes for development of deprived Eastern and South-eastern Iran and South Western Pakistan. “We are taking measures to do that and there is an open invitation to Pakistan to participate in that,” Zarif said.

Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons

He also said that the Chabahar port project was not meant to “encircle Pakistan … strangulate anybody”, adding that Iran would not allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from its territory, much like Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used against Iran.

Zarif likened Iran’s relations with India to Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia. “Our relations with India, just like Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia, are not against Islamabad as we understand Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran.” IANS

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