India set for business with Iran post nuclear deal

India set for business with Iran post nuclear deal

New Delhi welcomes Tehran-E3+3 agreement

India set for business with Iran post nuclear deal

India is all set to step up its economic engagement with Iran, as the deal clinched by Tehran and the E3+3 nations on Tuesday is likely to lead to lifting of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

New Delhi has welcomed the nuclear deal signed by Tehran and E3+3 (US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany).

The breakthrough in the negotiations incidentally came just a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had his first meeting with the Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and discussed ways to reinvigorate energy and economic ties between New Delhi and Tehran.

“While we wait to see the text of the agreement reached between Iran and the E3+3 in Vienna on Tuesday, we welcome the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue,” the Ministry of External Affairs stated.

“India has always maintained that the issue should be resolved peacefully through dialogue by respecting Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy while upholding the international community’s strong interest in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

New Delhi also noted that Iran’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on a roadmap for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues had underlined the “important role” of the agency. “This too is a welcome development,” Swarup said.

He also recalled that Modi had an “excellent meeting” with Iranian President on the sideline of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s summit at Ufa in Russia last Thursday. “Issues of energy cooperation and connectivity were discussed,” he said.

Modi and Rouhani discussed ways to boost bilateral energy and economic ties, apart from discussing connectivity projects. The prime minister is understood to have told the Iranian president New Delhi’s keenness to work with Tehran for connectivity projects, which will link India with Russia and rest of Central Asia through Iran.

He said that the International North South Transport Corridor, the Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan rail link, India’s interest in joining the Ashgabat Agreement on trade and transit and investment in Chahbahar Port in Iran were all aimed at enhancing connectivity in the region.

The International North-South Transport Corridor or INSTC is a multi-modal transport corridor envisaged by Iran, Russia and India in 2000. The corridor is envisaged to link Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf with the Caspian Sea via Iran and then connect to St Petersburg and North Europe via Russia.

New Delhi also inked an agreement with Tehran, pledging to build a container terminal and a multi-purpose cargo terminal on two berths at the Chabahar Port on the southeastern coast of Iran.

India views Chabahar Port as a strategically important port, which could give it a sea-land access route into Afghanistan avoiding Pakistan.

Modi, according to the sources, told Rouhani that New Delhi was also keen to work with Tehran to build road and rail network linking Chabahar Port. 

 New Delhi never officially endorsed sanctions imposed by United States and European Union on Iran, but the curbs enforced by the western powers to put pressure on Tehran forced India to cut down its crude oil import.