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Leaders of India and Iran Discuss BRICS Expansion and Iranian Port Chabahar

© Tyrone SiuIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a plenary session of BRICS Summit
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a plenary session of BRICS Summit - Sputnik India, 1920, 18.08.2023
Iran is one of the 20 nations which has formally applied to join the BRICS grouping at the upcoming BRICS Summit in Johannesburg next week.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi discussed the “expansion” of the BRICS grouping as well as other matters of bilateral and regional importance during a telephone call on Friday, according to a statement by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). '
The official statement said that the two leaders discussed cooperation at multilateral forums.
It said that Modi and Raisi “looked forward” to their meeting on the fringes of the BRICS Summit next week.
Besides aspiring for a BRICS membership, Iran was also accepted as a full-fledged member at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) under India’s rotating presidency of the Eurasian grouping.

Modi, Raisi Call for Realizing Full Potential of Chabahar

The MEA statement said that both the leaders reiterated their commitment to further strengthen their bilateral cooperation, which they said was based on close historic and civilizational connections, including strong people to people contacts.
Both the leaders said that the Iranian port of Chabahar must realize its “full potential” as a connectivity hub, the MEA said. India is developing the Shahid Beheshti terminal at the Chabahar port, which is located at the Gulf of Oman.
Prime Minister Modi, during a visit to Tehran in 2016, earmarked $500 million for developing the port’s infrastructure. Indian government says that the port could “unlock the economic potential” of the region by linking India to markets of central Asia and beyond.
However, ex-US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018, and impose sanctions on Iran prompted fears of “secondary sanctions” among Indian investors about involvement in the Chabahar port project.
The port of Chabahar has been exempted from American sanctions, but fears among Indian investors have persisted.
In 2020, India used the Chabahar port to supply humanitarian supplies of wheat to Afghanistan. State-backed India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) has been running the operations in Chabahar since 2018.
Flags of the BRICS countries: South Africa, India, Brazil and China. - Sputnik India, 1920, 25.07.2023
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