Iran to simplify visa norms for India

Iran President Hassan Rouhani pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India have expressed readiness to expand relations between their countries in all areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani issued a joint statement.

She described the visit of senior Iranian and Indian officials to the capitals of the two countries as the sign of high level of relations, adding "we hope that the two countries' relations will develop in all fields of mutual interest". "We are sure that participation will be equal from both sides", he said.

In April through January, the first 10 months of this fiscal year, India imported about 17 percent less Iranian oil at about 442,800 bpd.

"Our relations go far beyond trade, economic and diplomatic relations", Rouhani told reporters.

New Delhi is keen that the gas from the field comes to India to feed the vast energy needs and, therefore, OVL in its Dollars 11 billion master development plan (MDP) proposed drilling wells in Persian Gulf to produce gas, transport it to onshore via sub-sea pipeline and build a plant to liquefy the gas (LNG) for transportation in ships.

"I am very optimistic about the future of the relationship between the two countries and our companies, especially for developing oil and gas fields", Zanganeh said.

Besides giving India access to Central Asia, the port will also help India counter China's regional influence.

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The Chabahar Port in South Eastern Iran being developed by India is seen as the closest sea link of Iran to the Indian ocean.

Rouhani asserted that both the countries were determined to combat terrorism and extremism, adding that regional conflicts must be resolved through diplomacy and political initiatives.

Rouhani said Iran was "fully ready" to intensify cooperation in the areas of energy, particularly oil, gas and petrochemicals.

India had for the current fiscal cut oil imports from Iran by almost 25 per cent over delays in award of Farzad-B development rights to OVL.

According to a joint statement issued after Modi-Rouhani meeting, Iran welcomed the investment from India in setting up plants in sectors, like fertilizers, petrochemicals and metallurgy in Chabahar Free Trade Zone on mutually beneficial terms.

In 2013, the United States continued insistence that India should abstain from buying Iranian crude and that New Delhi should completely freeze its economic and financial transactions with Iran.

He also slammed the USA for trying to control the destiny of Iranians.

Hitting out at the US, Rouhani said many issues in the world today have arisen out of miscalculation and Washington has constantly resorted to that mistake with regard to Tehran.

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