Iran's President Rouhani to go to India from Feb 15-17

Iran's President Rouhani to go to India from Feb 15-17

President Rouhani will be accorded a ceremonial reception on February 17 and then he will call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi.

Rouhani added Iran's Chabahar Port as well as connection to Afghanistan and Central Asia is highly significant for India.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived here on Thursday evening on a two-day visit to the city.

Rouhani is also expected to visit historic sites, including the Qutub Shahi tombs at Golconda in Hyderabad.

During the bilateral talks, the issue of slow progress on the Chabahar Port (trilateral between India-Iran-Afghanistan) is expected to be on the table which Iran feels has got stuck due to the U.S. pressure on countries and the latest sanctions on Iran.

He noted the visit is made at the official invitation of the Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi.

The Chabahar port is about 72 km from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which China is developing, Reuters wrote in a report on Rouhani's visit.

The first phase of the port was inaugurated by President Rouhani in December past year, a little over a month after the first consignment of wheat from India to Afghanistan was sent via this facility. Soon after the sanctions were lifted, India said its firms could spend as much as $20 billion on not just the port but also petrochemical plants, railway lines and other industries in the areas.

India wants to develop the Farzad B which was discovered by the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) a decade ago. The Iranian President will hold delegation-level talks with PM Modi in New Delhi subsequently on Saturday. However, Iran says the terms it has offered are not profitable. The country imported 12.5 million tonnes of crude from the Islamic Republic in the period running from April 2017 to October 2018.