Modi on landmark visit to Tehran, contracts on target

May 22, 2016

TEHRAN - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking economic and political team on Sunday for an official two-day visit, IRNA reported.

According to Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour, the visit is the first one by the highest Indian official in 14 years.

“Neighborhood is key to opening ties with regional countries and India is no exception. The country is emerging as a neo-economic power both worldwide and regionally,” Rahimpour was quoted as saying. 

Modi may prove to be the harbinger of a will to push past bilateral discussions into some final agreements.

The first of Iranian projects now available to India is the Farzad-B oil field. A preliminary contract for the exploration and expansion of the field was signed between Iran and a consortium of three Indian companies in 2000.

India is also interested in running projects in Chabahar Port in southeastern Iran. Recently, New Delhi proposed investing $20 billion in petrochemical projects, including LNG plants, in the area.

The port has also caught India’s eye as a transport joint in that it could be used to beat China’s Gwadar port project in neighboring Pakistan.

Iran and India are also pursing the transfer of gas via pipeline on the seabed. So far the Indian side has proposed to construct a $4.5 billion seabed pipeline for taking Iran’s gas to India.

There is also the Binaloud oil field. A consortium led by India’s ONGC Videsh in 2008 discovered the field off the Farsi offshore block in 2008. The consortium is now keen to seal a contract for developing the gas field.

Furthermore, India is currently the main consumer of agricultural fertilizers and Iran is a main producer of the products.

According to a recent report by IRNA, India is also looking forward to investing $20 billion in fertilizer plants in Chabahar through a credit line.

 

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