Iran FM to discuss boosting ties with India
Tehran, Iran, August 10
By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:
Iran's foreign minister will visit India, after a trip to Turkey and Lebanon to discuss bilateral ties.
India is Iran's biggest oil client after China, while Iran increased non-oil export to India by 34 percent during the last four months.
Iran exported $913 million to India in the first four months of the current fiscal year, started on March 21, which shares 8.45 percent of Iran's total non-oil exports. However, Iran decreased imports from India by more than 46 percent during this period to $813 million, which shares 6.1 percent of Iran's total imports.
India also decreased Iranian oil purchase from 281,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 1H14 to 216,500 bpd in 1H15, which indicates a 22.9 percent decrease.
IRNA quoted on Aug.10 the India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, saying on Sunday that she would raise the issue of nine Indian nationals detained in a Tehran jail with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who arrives in India on August 14.
These Indian people have been in jail for two years on charges of smuggling oil, the Hindu newspaper reported. "I will speak to the Iranian Foreign Minister when I meet him," Swaraj told India Today TV on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Express Tribune wrote on Monday that Zarif is expected to visit Pakistan this week to expand cooperation between the two neighbors in the aftermath of the landmark nuclear agreement that Tehran signed with the world powers last month.
An official of Pakistan's Foreign Office confirmed on Sunday that Iran's top diplomat will arrive in Islamabad some time this week but said the exact dates of the visit were still being worked out.
Zarif's visit to India, came as Indian Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan is expected to lead a delegation to Iran in the coming weeks to scout for opportunities in oil and gas, following the nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 on July 14.
The talks will cover the development of the Farzad-B field, revival of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and the modernization of the oil and gas infrastructure in the Islamic nation.
"India is keen on strengthening ties with Iran, as we stood by them when sanctions were imposed by the US and the EU. The petroleum minister will soon be leading an Indian delegation to Tehran in the coming weeks to discuss energy co-operation between the two nations," a senior oil ministry official told the Telegraph India August 2.
Edited by CN