Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday said Tehran was open to discussions with New Delhi for Indian investments in Chabahar, including in the petrochemical sector.
He was talking to reporters after a meeting with Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari at which the two leaders reviewed the progress in implementing the Chabahar Port project, which provides India a critical link to land-locked Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.
Zarif, who is in India to address the ‘Raisina Dialogue’, being hosted by the External Affairs Ministry, said Iran would welcome proposals from India for investments in Chabahar. His statement comes days after an Indian company took charge of operations at the Shaheed Behesti Port in Chabahar.
Zarif said despite ‘illegal’ American sanctions against his country, India and Iran could cooperate for the benefit of their two people. India and Iran, he observed, had complementary economies and, therefore, the two countries could cooperate in a whole range of areas. ‘’We need Indian goods and services and India needs Iranian goods and services,’’ he added.
He said the two countries had a whole range of options in the banking sector which were being considered.
Earlier, addressing the India-Iran business forum, he said Iran was the most reliable energy partner for India and would not allow any consideration to impede the relationship between the two nations.
‘’No economic power can tell us you cannot have relationship with India. This can give you confidence on the partner you are choosing,’’ Zarif added.
He also stated that India and Iran were reactivating their rupee-payment mechanism to continue bilateral trade during the period of sanctions against Iran.