India and Iran today signed 12 Memorandum of Understanding and agreements in various areas including one for construction and operating a strategic port at Chabahar in Iran.
The Chabahar port is located just some 100 kilometers west from Gwadar port in Pakistan that was developed by China.
Development of Chabahar port is crucial for progress of India, Afghanistan and Iran’s business relations as landlocked Afghanistan is dependent on Pakistan for trade with India.
It also gives some sense of parity to India in its neighbourhood where China had taken the lead in developing infrastructure including ports in countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh that causes much anxiety in India’s security and diplomatic establishment.
The signing of agreements was followed the delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The other agreements include cooperation in culture, science and technology, library sciences, and cooperation between the exim banks of both the countries.
After signing of the agreements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his press statement, termed the agreement on developing first phase of Chabahar port as a milestone on bilateral economic ties.
Prime Minister Modi said, the port will develop better connectivity among India, Iran and Afghanistan. He said, the port will help in faster economic growth in the region.
Prime Minister Modi said India was committed for the early implementation of the signed agreements today by the two countries.
Noting that peace and stability is crucial in the region, the Prime Minister said India and Iran share the commitment to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region. He said both the countries are committed to fight the menace of growing terrorism and extremism.
Two countries also agreed to consult closely and regularly on combating threats of terrorism, radicalism, drug trafficking and cyber crime.
Mr Modi said he and President Rouhani also shared concerns at the spread of forces of instability and terror in the region. He also extended an invitation to Mr Rouhani to visit India.
Earlier, in a joint statement with Prime Minister Modi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Chabahar port is a symbol of synergy between both the nations. He said the port can serve as a point of connectivity to different countries.
Economic fruits of Chahbahar Agreement will expand trade, attract investment, build infrastructure, develop industry and create jobs: PM
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) May 23, 2016
President Rouhani said economic relations between Delhi and Tehran can further be expanded through the project.
Dr Rouhani also touched upon commonalities between the two nations and said promotion of Hindi and Persian in both the countries were also discussed.
Mr Rouhani said, both the nations discussed about sharing of intelligence to check the menace of terrorism, as its tentacles are spreading over Syria, Yemen and many other areas in the region. He stressed upon booth the nations to work together to bring peace and stability in the region.