Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed increased cooperation in trade and energy in New Delhi on Saturday (February 17).
Agreements signed during Rouhani’s three-day visit included Tehran leasing operational control of part of the Iranian east coast port of Chabahar to India for 18 months, creating a transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan that bypasses Pakistan.
India is trying to develop Chabahar as a way to gain access to the markets of central Asia as well as Afghanistan. But progress is slow because of concern that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration may eventually scrap the Iran nuclear deal.
Modi said both leaders were commited to seeing Afghanistan return to peace and stability. Rouhani agreed, saying both countries had shared views on regional crises in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.