Sanction free Iran is an opportunity that India should not be late to utilize-says Iranian Ambassador to India, Gholamreza Ansari.
Speaking about the new windows for trade and economic engagement between the two countries, the Amabassador told that President Hassan Rouhani had offered Prime Minister Narendra Modi an expanded role for India to play in Iran’s connectivity plans.
India and Iran have good synergy in the trade front. Iran is a major supplier of crude and India is one of the largest importers from the Iranian angle. Both countries have planned number of projects extending from ports to mining, but sanctions by the US have stalled all of them.
More than the crude trade, Iran is a transit gateway for India to Central Asia. On the political front, Iran was an ally of India and Russia when the three parties tried to counter Pak-US-Saudi effort to take control of Afghanistan as part of the ‘Great Game’.
Now, trouble hit Pak-Afghan corridor is losing its significance as a gateway to Central Asia with the rising prospects of Iran.
India has tried to construct port facilities in Iran to engage with Central Asia. Both countries signed an MoU earlier for the development of Iran’s Chabahar’s port. The Port was partially built by India in the 1990s to open transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Chabahar is around 90 kilometers from the Pakistan border.
Ansari has cited nearly $8 bn projects that can be carried out by India in Iran including port development, oil field and mineral mines development.
The Ambassador urged India to end its past sluggishness, citing Iran’s giant Farzad B gas field which New Delhi had been offered exceptional privileges to develop.
Interestingly, Iran is reentering into the world trade map set in a new environment provided by China’s ‘road and belt’ initiative. The road and belt initiative that proposes to construct railway and road connections has made Iran more attractive as a gate way to Eurasia.
As the economic sanctions imposed by the West is set to terminate, India along with China is considered to be big beneficiaries from Iran’s reentry into the world economy.
Already, many governments and MNCs have started crafting policies and initiatives to launch business with Iran.
Germany has sent a trade delegation to Tehran and Spain and France are planning about.