18th India-Iran Joint Commission Meeting held in New Delhi
The meeting assumed significance as it is the first one since the conclusion of the Vienna Agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran in July 2015.
The 18th Session of the India-Iran Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held on 28 December 2015 in New Delhi. The session was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister of India (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and Ali Tayebnia, Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance of Iran.
Both the leaders reviewed the progress in trade and economic cooperation and a number of related matters.
They also discussed the possibilities in cooperation in railways, including by supply of rails, rolling stock and signaling.
Issues discussed in 18th Session of the India-Iran JCM
• India stressed that connectivity afforded by Indian participation in Chahbahar Port will facilitate linking Afghanistan and Central Asia with India.
• The Iranian side suggested participation of India’s public and private sectors in development of Chahbahar Port and Chahbahar Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and in setting up industrial units in the FTZ.
• India emphasized the need for early completion of all necessary procedures for India’s participation in Farzad-B field and pointed out India’s desire to participate in other oil and gas explorations in Iran as well.
• They reviewed works related to India’s participation in Chahbahar – Zahedan -Mashhad railway line.
Significance of the Session to India
This is the first JCM since the conclusion of the Vienna Agreement. The agreement was reached between P5+1 countries and Iran on 14 July 2015 and paves the way for peaceful resolution of outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear programme.
The long shadow cast by Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme and the subsequent economic sanctions on the country had an adverse impact on India.
Especially, as India sources around 70 percent of its oil and gas needs from abroad, the economic sanctions by the United Nations and the USA affected the bilateral oil trade and mode of payments.
The present meeting between both the countries marks the renewed vigour in bilateral trade.
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