Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif is expected to visit New Delhi next week to participate in the Raisina Dialogue conference in the capital.
New Delhi: Following the recent eruption of tensions between Iran and the United States, India on Thursday said it has “interests” in the middle-east and Persian Gulf region, that it wants the situation to “de-escalate at the earliest”, and that it “appreciates the understanding shown by the United States in exempting the Chabahar port from sanctions.”
India has been worried over any possible fallout on its strategic port development project at Chabahar in Iran which provides sea-land connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia bypassing Pakistan.
“In the past, the United States has shown understanding on the importance of Chabahar to us and connectivity to Afghanistan. ... We appreciate the understanding shown by the United States in exempting Chabahar port from sanctions,” the MEA said. It added that “peace, security and stability are of utmost importance” to India which would like the situation to “de-escalate at the earliest”.
Significantly, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif is expected to visit New Delhi next week to participate in the Raisina Dialogue conference in the capital. External affairs minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar had in December visited Iranian capital Tehran for the 19th Session of the India-Iran Joint Commission there on December 22. The two sides had then “expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved” in operationalisation of the Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar, and had “recognised that it has a potential to act as a gateway between the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Europe”. Both nations had also “welcomed the utilisation of the port for exports from Afghanistan and discussed ways to promote it”. Ties between the US and Iran had plummeted to dangerous levels after the US assassinated Maj.Gen. Qasem Soleimani.