Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Iranian Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani discussed strengthening of bilateral cooperation, including progress on the Chabahar Port, in a telephonic conversation on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. 

“Foreign Secretary underscored India’s commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation with Iran in addressing shared opportunities and challenges. Both sides also discussed international and regional issues including Afghanistan,” an official release issued by the MEA on Tuesday stated.

The discussion between the two officials is important as it follows two separate visits from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari to India last month.

During the Foreign Ministers’ visit last month, discussions had taken place on reviving the payment mechanism between the two countries and exploring various possibilities of settling trade transactions, according to the Iranian Minister.

On oil export

Iran is eager to re-start trade with India and export oil as it is hopeful that it could persuade the US to lift the economic sanctions imposed by the Biden government, sources said.

Some discussions have already started between officials of the two countries on possibilities of resuming trade, but things are still fluid, sources added. Iran has been a top exporter of crude to India before the US put a stop to it through its sanctions. 

Expediting work on the Chabahar port, which is being jointly developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan, is also of special interest to both the countries as it is expected to play a key role in improving connectivity between South East Asia and Central Asia.