India and Iran today inked a dozen agreements ranging from a contract to develop the strategic Chahabar port to an initial pact to set up an aluminium plant and one on laying a railway line to give India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
The agreements were signed in presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Islamic nation in 15 years after Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The documents were in the fields of economy, trade, transportation, port development, culture, science and academic cooperation.
The key agreement signed was a contract for development of Phase I of the Chabahar port on southern coast of Iran by an Indian joint venture.
Also an agreement to provide USD 150 million credit line was signed by Exim Bank of India.
IRCON signed an initial agreement to lay a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, while state-owned Nalco signed an MoU to look at possibility of setting up a 0.5 million tonne aluminium smelter at Chabahar free trade zone provided Iran gives cheap natural gas.
An MoU was also signed between the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran and the Export Guarantee Corporation of India.
The documents included an MoU between the foreign ministries of both countries for dialogue on policy-making and interaction between think-tanks.
Another MoU was signed between School for International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran and the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of India.
Also signed was an executive protocol between the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran, and India’s Ministry of Science and Technology and an MoU between National Archives of India and National Library of Iran.
An executive programme of cultural cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as well as an MoU between Iran’s Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations was also signed.