Iran India’s good neighbor, good friend: Swaraj

Tasnim – India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said her country sees Iran as a good neighbor and friend.

In a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on the sidelines of the 73th session of the UN General Assembly, Swaraj said India views Iran not only as a good neighbor but also a good friend.

She added that her country will continue to purchase Iran’s oil despite sanctions re-imposed by the US on Iran.

The two diplomats also discussed ways to expand mutual ties in various areas including economy and exchanged views on Iran’s Chabahar Port.

In an interview after the talks, Iran’s top diplomat called India’s presence in its southeast port of Chabahar as important, saying the Islamic Republic of Iran has always served as a reliable source of energy for India.

“Indian presence in Chabahar is very important. We have comprehensive cooperation with India which also includes energy cooperation because Iran has always been a reliable source of energy for India,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told ANI.

He went on to say that the Islamic Republic expects Chabahar to become even larger with more capacity.

“We hope India and other investors would come to Chabahar and invest for the expansion of the port facility,” Zarif added.

The Iranian foreign minister also said Indian shipments have already gone through Chabahar to Afghanistan and added India has always been categorical in terms of its intention to continue economic cooperation and import of oil from Iran.

Chabahar is the closest and best access point of Iran to the Indian Ocean and Iran has devised serious plans to turn it into a transit hub for immediate access to markets in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and Central Asia.

It aims to create a reliable transport corridor for the smooth transport and transit of goods and services through Chabahar Port between Afghanistan, India, and Iran.