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Tehran seeks closer ties with India post nuclear deal
November 25, 2013, 7:14 pm

The two sides also discussed regional development including the developments in Afghanistan and the Middle East [MEA, India]

The two sides also discussed regional development including the developments in Afghanistan and the Middle East [MEA, India]

In a bid to reinforce New Delhi’s strategic ties with Tehran, a top Iranian official on Monday briefed India in “detail” over the Interim Agreement that Iran has secured with world powers.

“The visiting Deputy Minister provided a detailed briefing to the Foreign Secretary about the scenario in the region in the light of the Interim Agreement between Iran and E3 plus 3 and outlined prospects of moving forward in the evolving situation,” official sources in New Delhi were quoted by Indian agency PTI.

Tehran has outlined prospects of moving forward in the evolving situation and discussed various possibilities of furthering bilateral economic cooperation with India.

Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh in a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour on Monday expressed India’s keen interest in expanding the strategically important Chabahar port in Iran.

“Both sides agreed that there is considerable untapped potential to develop economic cooperation between the two countries particularly in the area of energy and transit. In this context both sides agreed on the need to accelerate efforts to finalize joint cooperation activities for the development of the Iranian Port of Chahbahar as a trade and energy hub for the region,” said a Ministry of External Affairs statement.

 

The port is already connected to the city of Zaranj in Afghanistan’s southwestern province of Nimruz and can serve as India’s entry point to Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.

An interim pact was clinched on Sunday between Iran and the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and Germany (P5 + 1).

Under the deal which will last six months, Iran would receive some $7 billion in “limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible [sanctions] relief” while a permanent agreement is sought.

In return, Iran agreed to give better access to inspectors and halt some of its work on uranium enrichment.

But Iranian negotiators insisted they still had a right to nuclear power. India on Sunday welcomed the deal.

“As the agreement between Iran and the P5 plus 1 has been agreed to just a while ago we are in the process of obtaining details from our interlocutors, however, based on initial information available at this stage I can say that India welcomes the prospect of resolving questions related to Iran’s nuclear program,through dialogue and diplomacy,” India’s ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin toldThe BRICS Post.

On Monday, Indian foreign secretary Sujatha Singh and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Rahimpour also “discussed various possibilities of furthering bilateral economic cooperation, particularly the Chabahar port project in which India has evinced a keen interest in participation”, sources said.

Chabahar is Iran’s closest and best access point to the Indian Ocean. India helped build Chabahar a decade ago to provide it access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

India is also in the process of constructing a 900-km railway line that will connect Chabahar port in Iran to the mineral-rich Hajigak region of Afghanistan.

The Iranian Minister also met Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid in New Delhi on Monday.

The two sides also discussed regional development including the developments in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, officials in India’s Petroleum Ministry and oil companies in New Delhi said India is likely to resume paying Iran in Euros after Sunday’s historic accord made it easier to import crude oil from one of its biggest suppliers. India which is Iran’s second-largest oil buyer, had cut back on purchases owing to Western sanctions on Tehran.

 

With inputs from Agencies

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