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Iran ambassador praises India, grateful for support during sanctions

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:21 IST

Iran and India share a past that goes beyond modern history. Unlike many global economies, that adhered to or participated in the economic sanctions imposed on Iran by US and affiliated countries, India held its own in continuing her trade relations with the country.

Now that the Iran-Nuclear Deal has been signed and the sanctions are expected to be lifted by the end of 2015, India finds itself in a sweet spot. In an interview to The Hindu, the Iranian Ambassador to India, Gholamreza Ansari, praised India and assured that it would get preferential 'business treatment' by the country.

India and Iran agreed in 2003 to develop Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran's border with Pakistan. Because of sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme, the venture has moved slowly.

In May this year, India's Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and his Iranian counterpart, Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, signed an $85 million deal for India to lease two existing berths at the port and use them as multi-purpose cargo terminals. India could also build second and third terminals at the port along with constructing railway connections and other infrastructure projects in Iran, under the new proposal.

India has moved slowly on opportunities in Iran in the past, including the giant ONGC discovered Farzad B gas field. Ansari said, while India continued to be the top priority to develop the Gas field, it has moved too slow on it. In 2014, Iran had Farzad-B gas field on a list of fields it plans to auction citing delays by the Indian firm in its development.

Read more about the Iran-Nuclear deal and the live analysis.

First published: 18 July 2015, 9:14 IST