Tabnak – In an attempt to boost ties with one of Iran’s main oil buyers and a rising powers in international arena, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in India today to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Economic ties are expected to be at the top of Rouhani’s agenda in his three-day visit.
The Iranian president left Tehran for India’s Hyderabad on Thursday morning for the official 3-day trip aimed at strengthening the bilateral ties and reciprocating a visit two years ago by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rouhani is accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister of Road and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi, Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari, as well as top officials of the presidential office.
Speaking to reporters at the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, Rouhani said he will have meetings with the president and prime minister of India, adding that a number of cooperation agreements will be also signed between the state-run sectors, business people and entrepreneurs of the two countries.
Hailing the “age-old” relations between Iran and India that are based on cultural and scientific interaction, the president said he is going to address Indian scholars to explicate Iran’s foreign policies and will also meet some Muslim clerics of India.
At the same time, diplomats in New Delhi say Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will try to encourage Indian businesses to invest “billions of dollars” in the Islamic Republic during his current visit.
In this vein, top on the agenda of Rouhani’s visit will be the completion of Iran’s Chabahar port by India as well as discussions over a potential deal for Indian companies to develop an offshore gas field in Iran.
India is trying to develop the port of Chabahar on Iran's east coast as a way to gain access to the markets of Central Asia as well as Afghanistan by by-passing arch-rival Pakistan. The port is about 72 km from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which is being developed by China, Reuters wrote in a report on Rouhani’s visit.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier said his government could spend up to $500 million on the port, India's first major overseas port venture, as it tries to offer alternatives to China's One Belt One Road initiative to build trade and transport links across Asia.
Another key project that could be on top of Rouhani’s discussions with Indian officials during his stay will be the development of Iran’s Farzad B gas field by Indian companies.
India wants to develop the Farzad B which was discovered by the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) a decade ago. However, Iran says the terms it has offered are not profitable.
It should be noted that in an official visit to Tehran in May 2016, Modi signed a number of agreements, and held a meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.