Chabahar port project to feature during Rouhani's tour of India


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be seeking billions of dollars of Indian investment during a visit to New Delhi, diplomats said, a trip that comes amid United States pressure to review a 2015 worldwide nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Iran.

The Iranian president left Tehran for India's Hyderabad on Thursday morning for the official 3-day trip aimed at strengthening the bilateral ties and reciprocating a visit two years ago by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will travel to India on February 15", the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) said.

Rouhani will address a congregation at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad after offering Friday prayers, the source said, adding that religious scholars from different schools of thought will also participate in the session.

Based on the agreement India has pledged to invest $85 million in equipment of Chabahar port which opens up the transit route for the country to Iran and Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

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This is Rouhani's first visit after taking charge in 2013. He will also interact with the Iranians settled in Hyderabad, people familiar with the matter said. He is also scheduled to visit the Salar Jung Museum on Friday.

He will have meetings with the President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minster Modi, according to a release by the Ministry of External Affairs here on Wednesday.

Development and operationalisation of the Chabahar port in Iran is expected to figure prominently in talks between the two leaders.

Several high-ranking Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh, Minister of Road and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi, Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari and Chief of staff of Iran's President Mahmoud Vaezi are accompanying President Rouhani during his three-day visit to India.

Iran is India's third oil supplier.