Iran will seriously pursue Chabahar development, Rouhani tells Modi

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran will “seriously” pursue the implementation of a joint project with India on the development of Iran’s southeastern port of Chabahar.

The Iranian president made the remark during a Wednesday telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Iran’s Chabahar port, which connects different regional countries, including India, Afghanistan and [those in] Central Asia to one another, is one of the symbols of Tehran-New Delhi cooperation,” Rouhani said.

Describing as “successful” a recent visit by the Indian premier to Iran, Rouhani underlined the need for the immediate implementation of the agreements signed between Tehran and New Delhi, particularly on the development of Chabahar port.

The Iranian president also referred to various issues of mutual interest and expressed Tehran’s readiness to upgrade ties with New Delhi to a strategic level.

In the phone conversation, Modi said that his country is determined to boost cooperation with Iran in all sectors.

He described as positive his talks with Iranian officials during his visit to Iran in May, adding that India will do its utmost to speed up the implementation of bilateral agreements.

The Indian prime minister also officially invited Rouhani to visit India.

Agreement on development of Chabahar port

The Indian prime minister paid an official two-day visit to Iran on May 22 to boost economic and political ties with Tehran.

Concurrent with Modi’ visit, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also traveled to Iran to join the signing of a trilateral agreement on establishing a strategic transit and transport route connecting the three countries.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (R), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C), and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hold hands in a show of solidarity after their trilateral meeting and signing of the Chabahar agreement, at the Sa’dabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, May 23, 2016. ©

The deal to develop Chabahar was part of a series of agreements that India and Iran signed to increase cooperation in various areas.

The Chabahar agreement is expected to create a regional trade, investment and transportation hub with links from the Indian Ocean to Central Asia.

In 2003, Iran and India agreed to develop the port, which sits on the Gulf of Oman. The project was, however, suspended following the imposition of sanctions against Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

In May 2014, India and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop the port once the international sanctions against Iran were lifted.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program on July 14, 2015, under which Iran has committed to putting limitations on its nuclear work in exchange for the removal of sanctions.

The Chabahar route will allow Indian goods to reach Afghanistan via the Iranian port without crossing Pakistan’s territory.

By Press TV