FM Zarif’s agenda during upcoming visit to India

ISNA – Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif will be on an official two-day visit to India starting 7 January.

Zarif, who will be in India for the annual Raisina Dialogue organised by think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on 8 January. He is also expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit.

The visit will witness both sides following up on the issues discussed during Zarif’s last trip to India in May 2018, when the two countries had vowed to not only boost bilateral trade ties, but also to identify ways in which the Modi government could support the Iran nuclear deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after the withdrawal by the United States from the deal and imposition of sanctions, sources told ThePrint.

Zarif, who will be accompanied by a high-powered business delegation, will also address a business forum under the aegis of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on 8 January.

The main objective of this will be to discuss how to continue doing business transactions in Indian currency and all the modalities around it in the wake of the sanctions imposed by the US, while providing a platform for Iranian businesses to explore investment opportunities in India.

Sources also said that talks to expand India-Iran cooperation on the Chabahar port project will be discussed. The project was recently exempted from imposition of sanctions by the US due to Indian investments there and its strategic importance to Afghanistan, which is landlocked. The exemption also includes development of the Chabahar port along with an attached railway project and Iranian petroleum shipments to Afghanistan.