President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani was on a three-day visit to India from 15th – 17th February, 2018.
- On February 15, 2018, Mr. Rouhani arrived in Hyderabad. He chose to begin his India tour from Hyderabad as the city has a long history of cultural and religious ties with Iran. It is to be noted that, currently, around 40000 Iranians live in Hyderabad.
- On February 15, 2018, Mr. Rouhani addressed Muslim intellectuals, religious scholars and students at a hotel in Hyderabad.
- On February 17, 2018, Mr. Rouhani held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. During this meeting, both the leaders reviewed the progress of India-Iran bilateral relations and discussed issues of mutual interest.
- Mr. Rouhani also gifted an animated version of Kalila Wa Demna (Farsi translation of the Panchatantra) and a copy of the Mahabharat in Farsi to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India-Iran ink 9 pacts, special focus on Chabahar port
After delegation-level talks on February 17, 2018, India and Iran signed following 9 pacts:
- Maritime Agreement on Chabahar Port and Document on Shahid Behesti port
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Exemption of Visa requirements for diplomatic passport holders
- MoU on Establishment on Trade
- Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement
- Ratification of Extradition Treaty
- Agreement for Co-operation in Medicine
- MoU on Cooperation in Health
- Co-operation on Cooperation on Agriculture
- MoU on Postal cooperation
Maritime Agreement on Chabahar Port and Document on Shahid Behesti port
On February 17, 2018, India and Iran signed a leasing agreement for giving operational control of Shahid Beheshti port to India for a period of 18 months. Shahid Beheshti port is the phase one of the Chabahar port, located on Iran’s east coast.
- From Indian perspective, Chabahar port (easily accessible from India’s western coast) will serve as an alternative trade route to Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries, bypassing Pakistan.
- Pakistan has been denying transit permission for trade between India and Afghanistan by citing the reason that India is using Afghanistan as a base to destabilise Pakistan.
Quick Facts about Iran:
♦ Capital – Tehran
♦ Currency – Rial
♦ Current President – Hassan Rouhani
♦ Important River – Zayanderud, Karun