PM Narendra Modi received a ceremonial welcome in Iran this morning ahead of the two meetings with the top Iranian leaders including Hassan Rouhani, who is the president of Iran. The centerpiece of this two-day visit is a trilateral agreement for development of Chabahar port that will open the access to Central Asia.
We have come up with 10 interesting facts that you should know in this story:
- After the welcome ceremony, PM Modi and President Hassan had talks and it was decided as a ‘restricted tete-a-tete’ by Iranian foreign ministry. Modi will alos have talks with Ayatollah Khamenei, who is the top religious & political leader of Iran.
- Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president is expected to meet President Hassan and PM Modi for signing the Chabahar agreement. Chabahar is the strategic port in Gulf of Oman on the Iranian southern coast with Afghanistan.
- India is expected to invest $200 million is the development of this port. The terminals and cargo berths with be developed at Chabahar. India further plans to develop 500-Km railway line from Chabahar to Zahedan.
- Pakistan doesn’t permit India to send goods to Afghanistan through its territory and has just begun to allow Afghan exports to cross through to India.
- This move of India will balance the Chinese influence in Pakistan. India will counter Pakistan’s Gwadar port after developing Chabahar port. Gwadar port was built with Chinese assistance and is just 72-km away from Chabahar.
- This visit by PM Modi is the first by an Indian Prime Minister in span of 15 years and has come after the sanctions on Iran were lifted off and the international communities started re-engaging with this nation.
- Energy security, connectivity and the bilateral trade is the top agenda of PM Modi. He will also be inaugurating the Indian cultural festival in Iran.
- PM Modi tweeted in Persian language after arriving Tehran, “Reached Iran, a land with whom India shares civilization ties.” PM Modi also visited Gurudwara in Iran on Sunday evening.
- India has cleared part of S6.4 billion oil dues to Iran, before this visit.