India and Iran on Monday 16 July
2018 discussed strengthening economic cooperation and enhancing connectivity
during a delegation-level meeting between Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araghchi here.
The meeting was held amid speculations about the
fallout of US sanctions on imports of petroleum products from Iran.
According to a statement issued by the External
Affairs Ministry, both sides "reviewed and positively assessed" the
progress in implementation of decisions taken during the Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani's visit to India in
February this year, "especially for enhancing connectivity and
strengthening cooperation in trade and economic issues and in the promotion of
During Rouhani's visit, the two countries
broad-based their relationship by signing nine agreements, including one on
connectivity relating to the strategic Chabahar port. "Views were also
exchanged on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including
the efforts being made by various parties to address issues that have arisen
over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," Monday's External Affairs
Ministry statement said without getting into details.
"It was agreed to maintain the momentum of
mutually beneficial multifaceted bilateral cooperation and exchanges between
the two sides and to hold the next round of Joint Commission Meeting at the
level of External Affairs Minister in November 2018 in Iran," it added.
Earlier this year, the US withdrew from the
nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran, the European Union and the P5+1 group
(five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany) and
reinforced sanctions on the West Asian nation.
India has made it clear that it does not
recognise country-specific sanctions.
Iran is the second largest supplier of crude oil
to India, supplying more than 425,000 barrels of oil per day, and India is one
of the biggest foreign investors in Iran's oil and gas industry.
India, along with Iran and Afghanistan, are jointly developing
the strategic Chabahar port in the southeastern coast of Iran that will give
access to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.