PM Modi in Tehran to sign Chabahar, oil deals



arti bali
BY Arti Bali, (Senior Journalist)
In this era of promoting connectivity in this region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day trip to Iran to boost bilateral ties on energy, trade and security. Alexander the great, the world conqueror is believed to have entered India through Afghanistan via Chabahar route.

Chabahar has emerged as a symbol of regional trade connectivity between various countries from South Asia to central Asia / Mid east and on wards to European continent.

Connectivity is a cornerstone of regional economic progress and Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tehran is of special significance as it will boost oil and energy cooperation between the two countries and regional security in the wake of Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan.

India and Iran efforts to provide connectivity to a land-locked country like Afghanistan will give required boost to the economic upliftment in this region. Apart from these issues, Modi will also sign an agreement on Frazad-B gas field where India will get involved in exploration activities. Moreover India will be investing heavily in Iran’s economic infrastructure.

As expected, Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United States and China will be watching the outcome of the meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader who is the decision maker in all policy matters of the country.

All the countries will be devising their respective implications of the meeting. On the day of Modi’s visit to Iran,an advocacy group in the US has said Modi should focus his efforts on pressuring Tehran to halt its “destabilizing and d provocative” behaviour.

It also claimed that Iran should not be rewarded with lucrative business opportunities as there are “numerous risks” for Indian companies in doing business there.

Modi’s state visit to Iran will also give new momentum to India -Iran bilateral ties in the post sanctions era as that will pave way for huge economic activity and the thereafter the stability in the region.

Having enjoyed long civilizational ties, India and Iran can utilize this opportunity to cooperate in providing security and stability in the region as Rouhani Government is assisting Syrian Government with experts to eliminate ISIS, cooperation in regional connectivity which is crucial for providing jobs in this area.

Another idea is to develop International North South Transport corridor that will connect India, Iran exports to destinations in Central Asia, EU and Russia. Situated in the Southeastern coast of Iran, Chabahar enjoys unique strategic importance catering to the interests of various countries right from Central Asia to Russia and ultimately extending to Europe because of Iran’s proximity to the said continent. Chabahar’s full potential will thus be tapped by International North South Transport corridor (INSTC). Acknowledging the geopolitical importance of Chabahar port, India is also set to release money for new route from Herat-Leman-Bala, Murghab- Cormach-Maymaneh- Andkhoy- Karamkal- Shaberghan- Aqchach to Mazar-e-Sharif.

Modi is the third Indian prime minister visiting Tehran after Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Former PM Manmohan Singh went to Tehran in 2012 for attending the Non-aligned movement summit.

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