Expecting a vibrant relation between India and Iran: Iran Envoy on Modi
Expecting a vibrant relation between India and Iran: Iran Envoy on Modi

Iran wants India to play a significant role in its economic development, which is poised to pick up momentum with the lifting of sanctions following the nuclear deal, and has conveyed its intention to bypass bidding process for India.

Appreciating India's "cooperative" role even when Iran was subject to sanctions that crippled its economy, the country's ambassador to India, Gholamreza Ansari, assured "preferential treatment" to Indian business firms.

"Iran is ready to welcome Indians, even without a bidding process," said Ansari in an interview to The Hindu.  

The lifting of the sanctions will unfreeze Iranian funds to the tune of $120 billion frozen in foreign banks, enabling the country to trade globally and rebuild its economy. 

The ambassador also said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wants India to invest about $8 billion in the country's infrastructure projects, including rebuilding the strategic Chabahar port that will give India the much-needed access to Central Asia.

"Connectivity is the main policy of Modi that coincides with Iran's government policy. We have offered them, in connectivity, $8 billion of projects," Reuters quotes Ansari as saying.

Rouhani sought greater engagement with India and a bigger role when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Russia recently on the sidelines of a summit, days before Iran signed the historic nuclear deal with six countries comprising the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, or E3+3 powers.

Iran and India have been seeking to expand economic relations. In May, shipping minister Nitin Gadkari and his Iranian counterpart, Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, signed an $85 million deal that would pave the way for India to lease two existing berths at the Chabar Port to be used as multi-purpose cargo terminals.

The lifting of the sanctions, which will end Iran's diplomatic and economic isolation, will offer huge business opportunities, especially in the energy sector. 

Iran's untapped reserves, believed to be the fourth largest in the world, will provide opportunities to businesses to upgrade its oil fields.  

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