Indian minister en-route to Iran to pave way for Modi
Tehran, Iran, April 15
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is traveling to Iran to pave way for a later visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sushma's trip to Iran follows by one week a visit by Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, IRNA news agency reported April 15.
She is believed to have on agenda to discuss a contract on Iran's Farzad-B gas field as well.
Tehran invited Modi to visit Iran in January, which Modi accepted. Yet, not date has so far been set for Modi's trip.
Iran and India signed an economic cooperation document in 72 articles in January.
India is also interested in running projects in Chabahar Port in southeastern Iran. Recently, New Delhi proposed investing $20 billion in petrochemical projects in the area. The port has also caught India's eye as a transport joint in that it could be used to beat China's Gwadar port project in neighboring Pakistan.
Iran and India are also pursing the transfer of gas via pipe on the seabed.
Iran holds 132 billion barrels of oil and 971 trillion cubic feet of gas. India's oil output covers only one tenth of its need. India has a population of 250 million and an economic growth of 7 percent.
India's oil import from Iran in March grew two times compared to February to hit 500 tbpd.