PM Modi's Iran visit focuses on trade, cultural ties, terrorism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Iran on a historic visit as it was the first visit by an Indian prime minister after a gap of fifteen years. On Monday, Modi described India-Iran friendship "as old as history" after the two sides signed 12 agreements, including three on development of the Chabahar port in this Persian Gulf nation for enhanced connectivity. This was the second day of PM Modi's visit.

PM Modi and Iran president Hassan Rouhani discussed trade, cultural ties and terrorism in their meeting. Before the joint statement, Modi visited the Bhai Ganga Singh Gurudwara in Tehran.


Here are the key points of Modi's Iran visit:

A bilateral contract on the Chabahar port between India Ports Global Pvt. Ltd. and Arya Bandar of Iran envisages development and operation for 10 years of two terminals and five berths with cargo handling (multipurpose and general) capacities.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India's Exim Bank and Iran's Ports and Maritime Organisation for a line of credit from India of $150 million to develop the Chabahar port.

Chabahar in South-East Iran will help skip Pakistan and open up a route to land-locked Afghanistan with which New Delhi has developed close security ties and economic interests.

India and Iran had in 2003 agreed to develop Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman outside the Strait of Hormuz, near Iran's border with Pakistan.

PM Modi and Iran President Rouhani. Image courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

PM Modi and Iran President Rouhani. Image courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

But the project moved slowly because of western sanctions against Iran. The sanctions were lifted in January and since then, India has been pushing for conclusion of an agreement.

PM Modi also said that India and Iran shared a crucial stake in peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

“We also have shared concerns at the spread of forces of instability, radicalism and terror in our region,” he said.

“We have agreed to consult closely and regularly on combating threats of terrorism, radicalism, drug trafficking and cyber crime. We have also agreed to enhance interaction between our defence and security institutions on regional and maritime security.”

In the past decade, India and Iran had signed several MOU’s but because of the sanctions regime, there has been no progress.

The focus of Prime Minister’s visit has been connectivity, infrastructure and boosting bilateral trade, and giving the India-Iran relations a solid commercial edge.

India and Iran have now signed 12 agreements, including on cultural exchange, science and technology and policy dialogue between governments and think tanks.

Modi is also slated to hold talks with the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: May 23, 2016 17:35:21 IST

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