India seeks stake in Iranian oilfield, to raise oil imports

Feb 18, 2018, 03:09
India seeks stake in Iranian oilfield, to raise oil imports

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that historical relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and India are beyond diplomatic cooperation.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement after talks with visiting Iranian President Hassan Rohani in New Delhi on February 17.

Before leaving Tehran, Rouhani said relations between the two nations were historical and deep-rooted, and in his first day in India - in the city of Hyderabad - on Thursday he went further to emphasize warm relations between Tehran and New Delhi, saying, "Iran and India enjoy historic and cultural relations that are beyond mere political and economic relations", hinting at an approach rooted in idealism in global relations, especially with India, rather than one rooted in mere realism.

The Iranian President said Mr. Modi's visit to Tehran in 2016 paved the way for bringing new momentum in ties and its fruits are being seeing today. "If we are signing the pact then we will adhere to it, till the last breath", he said.

After sanctions were lifted on Iran in 2015, India had promised to invest billions of dollars in the country in petrochemical plants, railway lines and other industries in the areas.

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Besides, the two Leaders released a joint postage stamp depicting Deendayal Port, Kandla and ShahidBeheshti Terminal, Chabahar that reflected the enhanced prosperity through greater connectivity. He also underscored that the cordial relations between India and Iran were beyond trade and business.

Since local gas prices in Iran are about $2.1 per mmBtu, India has asked for a stake in a producing oil field in Iran in addition to Farzad B to improve its average return on investment. "We believe that the various issues of the region, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, should be resolved through political initiatives", he said, targetting Saudi Arabia for intervening in the matter.

India committed up to $500 million for the development of Chabahar.

Swaraj also described as "very important" the project of development of Chabahar port, not only for Iran, but also for the region, saying "the people of Afghanistan, India and the region are very pleased with this project".

Besides giving India access to Central Asia, the port will also help India counter China's regional influence.

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Earlier the leaders held "substantive" talks to boost cooperation in key areas of security, trade and energy.

Delegation-level talks between India and Iran is underway at the Hyderabad House here on Saturday.

New Delhi has allowed investment in Indian rupees in Iran.

On Afghanistan, an immediate neighbour of Iran and a country that India sees as part of its extended neighbourhood, Modi and Rouhani were unanimous on the need for any peace process in the country to be Afghan owned and Afghan-led, Mittal said.

He said the United States sought to control the lives of Iranians and even tried to stop the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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