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“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.
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.
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.
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