President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Hassan Rouhani was in India from 15-17 February 2018. He had arrived in Hyderabad on 15 February in his first leg of three days visit. Dr. Rouhani visited Hyderabad on 15-16 February 2018. On February 17, he hold bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The two Leaders released a joint postage stamp depicting Deendayal Port, Kandla and Shahid Beheshti Terminal, Chabahar that reflected the enhanced prosperity through greater connectivity. During Iranian President visit, 9 agreements were signed between two nations on 17 February 2017. The list of agreements, signed between two nations are:
- Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income: It will promote flow of investment and services.
- Waiver of requirement of visa for the travel of diplomatic passport holders in each country.
- Instrument of Ratification of Extradition Treaty: It brings into effect the Extradition Treaty signed between India and Iran in 2008.
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine:
- MoU on the establishment of an Expert Group on Trade Remedy Measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest: It aims to establish a framework of cooperation in the area of Trade Remedial Measures viz. anti-dumping and counterveiling duty.
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine
- MoU on Postal Cooperation
- Lease Contract for Shahid Beheshti Port-Phase 1 of Chabahar during Interim Period between Port and Maritime Organization (PMO), Iran and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL).
Recent Initiatives: In recent past both countries are cooperating each other on different fields. Despite the US pressure bilateral relation between two countries are flourishing in different fields. The successful inauguration of the Phase-1 of Chabahar Port in early December 2017; the ratification of the Trilateral Agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor by all sides; and the successful shipment of wheat assistance from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port are few examples of flourishing relationship between India and Iran. have opened a new gateway to and from Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond. Full operationalisation of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar in Iran will further improve bilateral relations.
Chabahar Port: With a view to fully utilize the potential of the Chabahar Port and its connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia, India has conveyed its readiness to support the development of Chabahar- Zahedan Rail line.
International North- South Transport Corridor (INSTC): Both sides reiterated their commitment to International North- South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and stressed on the need for inclusion of Chabahar within its framework. International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), is a multi modal transportation established in 12 SEP 2000 in St. Petersburg, by Iran, Russia and India for the purpose of promoting transportation cooperation among the Member States. This corridor connects India Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via Islamic republic of IRAN, then is connected to St. Petersburg and North European via Russian Federation. The INSTC was expanded to include eleven new members, namely: Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Ukraine, Republic of Belarus, Oman, Syria, Bulgaria (Observer).
TIR Convention and Ashgabat Agreement: India has already ratified the United Nations TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) Convention on June 20, 2017 (India became the 71st country to ratify) , a move that will help boost trade through smoother movement of goods across territories. Recently India was included in Ashgabat Agreement. These additional steps will enhancing regional connectivity and link regional centers of economic growth.
Energy: Both sides agreed to continue and increase the pace of negotiation for reaching appropriate results on energy cooperation, including Farzad B gas field.
Trade and Investment Cooperation: Iranian Pasargad bank to open a branch in India was under advance consideration. It was agreed to set up a Joint Committee of officials to examine feasible options, including Rupee-Rial Arrangement, Asian Clearing Union mechanism to establish functional payment channels.
Promotion of Friendly exchanges and people to people contacts: Both countries will grant e-visa facility to each other nationals. It was agreed to hold the Festival of India in Iran in 2018/19 and establish a Chair of Indian studies in Tehran University.
About India-lran relation
- The two countries shared a border till 1947 and share several common features in their
language, culture and traditions.
- India and Iran established diplomatic links on March 15, 1950. In addition to the Embassy in Tehran, India has two Consulates in Iran, one in Bandar Abbas and other in Zahedan.
- During the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Tehran in April 2001, the two countries signed the
- Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s visited India from January 24-28, 2003 as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade. Both sides signed ‘The New Delhi Declaration’.
- The India-Iran bilateral trade during the fiscal year 2016-17 was USD 12.89 billion. India imported USD 10.5 billion worth of goods mainly crude oil and exported commodities worth USD 2.4 billion.