PHOTO: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport on Sunday
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Iran on Sunday, looking to boost business and economic ties with Tehran.
Modi will see high-level Iranian officials, including the Supreme Leader and President Rouhani, during a two-day visit. The two sides are expected to sign 14 agreements of cooperation in areas such as trade and culture.
Among the agreements is the deal to develop the port of Chabahar in southern Iran on the Gulf of Oman. The project is hoping to becoming one of the leading trade centers on the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, rivaling Pakistani and Saudi initiatives.
Iran also wants India to settle more than $6 billion in debts from oil purchases. New Delhi has said that the payment is held up because of US sanctions, despite January’s implementation of a July 2015 nuclear deal.
Trade between India and Iran was about $14 billion in 2015, almost $10 billion of which was Iranian exports.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will join Modi and Rouhani to sign a trilateral agreement for a North-South transport corridor.
Supreme Leader: US “Cannot Do a Damn Thing” About Iranian Powers
The Supreme Leader has used a commencement ceremony at a Tehran military academy to again proclaim defiance of the US.
Ayatollah Khamenei told graduates of the Imam Hussein Military Academy, “The main cause of all these enmities and fabrication of pretexts [by the US] is [Iran’s] defiance of Arrogance.”
Khamenei specifically referred to Iran’s continued testing of ballistic missiles, “Recently they have embarked on massive hype campaign, but they must know that such hues and cry will have no effect and they cannot do a damn thing.”
The US has imposed new sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies because of the tests, and Washington and its European allies have threatened to take the issue to the UN Security Council.
The Leader proclaimed:
The Americans and other powers are extremely sad at this issue and they have no other option. That is why they made huge efforts in order to bring the country’s decision-making and decision-taking centers under their control, but they failed and thanks to God they will fail to do so.