Iran Daily: Rouhani Signs Key Economic Deal with India


Agreement signed over 1st phase of key port project


During a visit to New Delhi, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has signed a deal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for management of the Chabahar port in southern Iran.

The two companies have long planned the accord, seen as a key arrangement for trade links between central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

The initiative also has political implications for the region, displayed by Iranian State media on Saturday in their report of “a move that could enable India to dodge Pakistan and reach markets in Afghanistan, Central Asia. and beyond”.

Iran is leasing operational control of the first phase of the port development to India for 18 months. Modi also emphasized on Saturday that India is looking for construction of a rail link between Chabahar and Zahedan in southeastern Iran to fulfil trade potential.

Rouhani said, “We are ready to sign bilateral and trilateral agreements to turn the transit route passing through Chabahar into a strategic pathway serving the reinforcement of regional ties.”

Iran’s Road and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi said New Delhi will invest up to $87 million in the initial Chabahar phase, part of a total investment of $2 billion in Iranian port and rail projects.

Rouhani and Modi also signed agreements covering taxation, extradition, and the agricultural and medical sectors.

State Media Attacks Academic-Environmentalist Who Died in Prison Custody

Iranian State broadcaster IRIB has attacked Iranian-Canadian academic and environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami, who died under interrogation in prison earlier this month.

IRIB broadcast a 7-minute video repeating the claims of regime officials, without evidence, that Seyed-Emami used his environmental research to spy for the CIA and Israel’s Mossad.

Seyed-Emami, a professor at Tehran’s Imam Sadegh University and the Managing Director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, was seized on January 24. His family were notified on February 9 that he had died in custody, with officials insisting that he committed suicide.

Despite threats not to speak to the media, the family are publicly questioning the official version of events.

Seven other staff of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation are still behind bars.

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  1. “IRIB broadcast a 7-minute video repeating the claims of regime officials, without evidence, that Seyed-Emami used his environmental research to spy for the CIA and Israel’s Mossad.”

    Well, the IRIB video does reveal all the sites where he allegedly conducted spying operations using surveillance equipment for ostensibly environmental purposes. They’re all close to nuclear/military sites.

    Anyway, a bizarre allegation made by “Amadnews” – which Telegram blocked for inciting violence during the latest unrest in Iran ( – claims that an IRGC intel officer told a journalist that Seyed-Emami died from an injection of sodium thiopental (an aesthetic that can be fatal).

    The report goes on to suggest “The main reason for the arrest of Kavous Seyed-Emami was his investigation into the causes of the drought in Iran, the shortage of water resources in the country and the lack of rainfall, which has led the country to the verge of collapse. Dr Seyed Emami, with his scientific research, found that one of the main causes of rainfall and drought shortages in recent years was the nuclear testing, missile and research activities based in the military site of Parchin. In order to complete his research with some NASA experts from his friends, he was studying more accurate scientific findings.”

    Dr. Seyed-Emami was a sociologist and not a scientist. Also, there is no evidence that nuclear testing or missile tests can produce droughts and shortages of rainfall. In the CCTV film showing Seyed-Emami’s last hours, he is apparently completely conscious of his surroundings which would be impossible if he were under the influence of sodium thiopental.

    • It doesn’t “reveal” any sites that he visited. It names places which are close to military sites.

      I can do that using Google Earth. Doesn’t stand up as evidence in a proper court of law.

      • The video by IRIB (Seda va Sima) wasn’t supposed to represent evidence as used in a court of law. It was to explain to its viewers what Seyed-Emami was supposedly doing as part of his environmental activities and why authorities believe they were really cover for espionage. Now we know the full extent of the accusations made against him.

  2. The Chabahar port is a worthy achievement, but without the rail infrastructure in place, the volume of good exported to Iran and then on to Europe and Russia will be limited. The official who opened the port, Transport minister, Abbas Akhoundi, was Mir Hussein Mousavi’s campaign manager during the contested 2009 presidential election. He admitted in a meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei and other officials that there was no evidence of any major fraud, but that Ahmadinejad should have been disqualified by the Guardians council for his improprieties:

  3. Leaked cable: US seeks European committment to supplement Iran nuclear deal:

    “We are asking for your commitment that we should work together to seek a supplemental or follow-on agreement that addresses Iran’s development or testing long-range missiles, ensures strong IAEA inspections, and fixes the flaws of the ‘sunset clause.”

    “During the first, from Jan. 12 to May 12, the United States will seek to get the Europeans to agree on the weaknesses that need to be fixed, he said. We want a commitment from them that these are the deficiencies that need to be addressed … and an agreement that we will seek an agreement. That’s it.”

    “The second phase, to begin immediately after May 12, would take that understanding to the other parties to the deal – Iran, Russia and China – to see if there was some way to address these issues.There were three possible avenues to do this: amend the existing pact, negotiate a supplemental agreement, or seek a new U.N. Security Council resolution to make the changes.”

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