Iranian President seeking billions of dollars of Indian investment amid U.S. pressure

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures as he speaks during a rally marking the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, in Tehran, Iran, February 11, 2018. President.ir/Handout via REUTERS

Vastavam web: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be seeking billions of dollars of Indian investment during a visit to New Delhi, diplomats said, a trip that comes amid U.S. pressure to review a 2015 international nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Iran.India is trying to develop the port of Chabahar on Iran’s east coast as a way to gain access the markets of central Asia as well as Afghanistan by by-passing arch-rival Pakistan.

Soon after the sanctions were lifted, India said its firms could spend as much as $20 billion on not just the port but also petrochemical plants, railway lines and other industries in the areas. But progress has only been made on the port.Iranian officials say the slowdown is largely because India has become hesitant following Trump’s attempts to undermine the Iran nuclear deal and that Rouhani would be urging India to make good on its commitments.

Rouhani, who arrives in the southern city of Hyderabad on Thursday, where he will address a Muslim congregation, will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.The two sides are expected to sign an agreement allowing India to run operations in the first phase of the Chabahar port project.