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India & Iran to Co-Operate on Energy & Connectivity

India and Iran have agreed to move beyond traditional buyer-seller relationship on energy cooperation and develop it into a long term strategic partnership, during the first State visit of Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran to India from 15-17 February 2018. While welcoming him, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, described, Chabahar as the “Golden gateway to Afghanistan and the Central Asian region”, and urged for closer cooperation in the fields of energy, banking and countering terrorism.

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, while hosting banquet in honour of the President of Iran, said that India-Iran relationship is growing in all spheres, bilateral trade has expanded, and energy partnership is growing; Iran’s abundant hydrocarbon resources and India’s rapidly growing energy demand provide new opportunities. As developing nations facing similar challenges, India and Iran have much to share and gain from each other, he added.

Iran has expressed willingness to share its vast oil and natural gas resources with India for the prosperity of its people and offered to simplify visa norms to strengthen the relations between the two countries. India and Iran are currently engaged in trying to reach an agreement over India developing Iran’s Farzad-B gas field. Rouhani said Iran was “fully ready” to intensify cooperation in the energy, petroleum and gas sectors.

On Connectivity, India is to invest up to $100 million in the Chabahar Port Development project. Chabahar agreement signed in May 2016, during Modi’s trip to Iran to develop two terminals and five berths at Port of Chabahar and to build a new railway line between Chabahar and Zahedan, as part of North–South Transport Corridor, by Indian Railway’s public sector unit Ircon International, marks a new level in India’s overseas ambitions, establishing a genuinely strategic presence not just in one of the world’s great energy markets, but potentially giving Indian business access to some of the fastest-growing economies of the future. Iranian port of Chabahar will be India’s primary gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia. The first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port- Chabahar – stands completed. Iran and India reiterated their commitment for early and full operationalization of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar. Iran has welcomed Indian investment in setting up plants in sectors such as fertilizers, petrochemicals and metallurgy in Chabahar FTZ on mutually beneficial terms.

Prime Minister Modi and President Rouhani witnessed the exchange of the following documents:

  • Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income
  • MoU on Exemption from Visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic Passports
  • Instrument of Ratification of Extradition Treaty
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine
  • MoU on the establishment of an Expert Group on Trade Remedy Measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine
  • MoU on Postal Cooperation
  • Lease Contract for Shahid Beheshti Port-Phase 1 of Chabahar during Interim Period between Port and Maritime Organization (PMO), Iran and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL).

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