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PM Modi lands in Iran: 2 day visit likely to strengthen trade

Tahran: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday arrived in Tehran on a two-day visit looking to strengthen trade, investment and energy ties with Iran. A crucial agreement is expected to be signed on developing the strategic Chabahar port.

Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Iran in the last 15 years, was received at the Mehrabad International Airport by Iran’s finance and economic affairs minister Ali Tayyebnia, after which he left for a local Gurudwara to meet people of Indian origin.

Formal talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled for Monday morning after a ceremonial welcome for the Prime Minister. Rouhani will also host a lunch for him.

Ahead of his arrival, Modi tweeted, “Enhancing connectivity, trade, investments, energy partnership, culture and people to people contacts would be our priority.”

“My meetings with President Rouhani and Hon’ble Supreme Leader of Iran will provide an opportunity to advance our strategic partnership,” the Prime Minister added.

Besides signing a deal on development of Phase-1 of the Chabahar port, India is looking at doubling oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation, which a few years back was its second-biggest oil supplier, as well as making progress on getting rights to develop a giant gas field in the energy-rich country.

India’s Road Transport, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari will also be present there for the signing of the agreement on Chabahar port.

Post-sanctions Iran has seen a flurry of diplomatic and business activities with leaders from China to Korea courting Tehran.