Iranian Foreign Minister visits India to strengthen bilateral ties

India on Wednesday welcomed Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in New Delhi. “The visit will further boost our deep historical ties and partnership,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

Iran Foreign Ministry Hossein will hold talks with India’s high-ranking officials aimed at expanding strategic cooperation between the two countries.

“The visit to India is aimed at expanding ties between the two countries and holding strategic consultations over cooperation regarding regional issues and international developments,” Iran Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

India has shared a unique and historic relationship with Iran, which is an important partner and a close neighbor.

During 2021-22, when External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar visited Tehran twice and held constructive meetings with the Iranian leadership, there was an intensification in bilateral engagement. 

The two countries continued their engagement in the field of healthcare, and a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Health was held in April 2021.

Jaishankar visited Iran to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect Ayatollah Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi. He visited Tehran at the invitation of the Government of Iran, held constructive meetings with the top Iranian leadership, and discussed several issues, including the development of Shahid Behesti Terminal, and Chabahar Port.

India-Iran bilateral trade

India-Iran bilateral trade has been a rollercoaster ride. The bilateral trade in FY 19 registered 23.7 percent growth, peaking at US$17.03 billion with mineral oil and fuel claiming the lion’s share in Indian imports, accounting for US$12.3 billion. However, this trend has reversed since May 2019, following the lapse of the oil sanction waiver granted to India by the US. In FY20, bilateral trade stood at US$4.77 billion.

India’s overall exports to Iran fell by 42 percent in 2020 from 2019 to US$2.2 billion, the lowest in over a decade. The fall is continuing in 2021, and in January this year, exports more than halved from a year ago, to reach US$100.20 million. 

However, Exports to Iran in India are now seeing an upward trend. As per RBI India’s export to Iran increased to 12.83 INR Billion in March from 12.18 INR Billion in February of 2022.

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