Iran, India greater cooperation on agenda

Chabahar project compensation proposed

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a meeting with Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Monday, stressed the need to accelerate the implementation of agreements signed between the two countries, including on the Chabahar port development project, as well as the need to compensate for the delay in the fulfillment of commitments.
The president pointed to the deep-rooted relations between his country and India and emphasized the importance of efforts to improve the level of bilateral relations in various political, economic, science and technology, transportation, and energy sectors.
For his part, Jaishankar thanked Raisi for his efforts in developing ties with regional countries as well as bringing about eye-catching changes in ties with India.
Announcing the country’s interest in concluding a comprehensive and long-term cooperation agreement with Tehran, he emphasized New Delhi’s full commitment to its obligations in the Chabahar port development project.
During his visit, Iran and India also finalized an agreement on the development of the Chabahar port, located in the southeastern part of Iran.
In an earlier meeting held between Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash and Jaishankar in Tehran on Monday, the two sides emphasized equipping and developing the Chabahar port, which is India’s first foreign port project.
Iran’s roads minister also proposed setting up a joint transportation committee for the expansion of bilateral cooperation and said the formation of the committee will tap into the transit potential of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
The visiting Indian minister, for his part, expressed the readiness of his country to launch new investments at the Chabahar port in the fields of transportation and transit.
Jaishankar also invited Bazrpash to visit India.
The new long-term agreement is intended to replace the original contract, which only covers India’s operations at the Shahid Beheshti terminal in the Chabahar port and is renewed every year. The new agreement will be valid for 10 years and will be automatically extended.
India has been pushing for the Chabahar port project to boost regional trade and increase its connectivity, especially to Afghanistan, since 2016, when the subcontinent signed a tripartite agreement with Iran and Afghanistan to develop the terminal.
Jaishankar projected the Chabahar port as a key regional transit hub at a connectivity conference in Tashkent in 2021.
In November 2023, India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra discussed with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian ways to boost connectivity through strategic Chabahar port.
The Chabahar port is also seen as a key hub for the INSTC project.
The INSTC is a 7,200-km-long multimode transport project for moving freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe.

Role of SCO, BRICS
Later on Monday, Iranian FM stressed that Iran’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS group of developing countries has given a boost to strategic cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi.
Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a joint press conference after meeting with his Indian counterpart in Tehran.
He also hailed India’s role in Iran’s bid for membership in SCO and BRICS.
The Iranian foreign minister highlighted the significance of his counterpart’s visit to Tehran, which he said is a major step in the expansion of bilateral cooperation in different areas.
Amir-Abdollahian added that he and his Indian counterpart discussed a wide range of issues, including economic issues and strategic connections, with special focus on the development of the Chabahar port and the INSTC.

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