New Delhi: ‘India has good relations with the US,’ said Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday has sought New Delhi’s assistance in recoursing the United States for negotiating on withdrawing from the nuclear deal.
“India can play a leading role in bringing US back into compliance with the agreement and we’ll not reject that possibility,” Zarif said, speaking at a public event.
“India is a very dear friend of Iran and has good relations with US, it can encourage US to come back to the table,” he added, seeking India’s support in building a dialogue with the US to pursue negotiations.
The Iran foreign minister’s statement comes a day after he outrightly refused any negotiations with the global superpower and described the current political situation in West Asia as dangerous and sad.
“Iran is interested in diplomacy, not interested in negotiating with the US,” he asserted while speaking at the Raisina Dialogue.
The bilateral relations between Iran and the US have worsened after the latter assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, and subsequently, Iran launched airstrikes on the US base in Iraq.
Zarif also highlighted that Iran and India need to work together in order to expedite rail connectivity to Afghanistan for the development of Chabahar project.
“Chabahar Port is essential for Afghanistan and Central Asia,” Zarif said.
He further noted, “India has found difficulty in procuring the necessary equipment for the port in spite of US exemptions for Chabahar. Still, financial transaction is a problem. Other concern is finishing the railroad between Chabahar and Zahedan.”
The Chabahar Port is located on Iran’s southeastern coast along the Gulf of Oman which is being developed with to provide an alternative trade route between India and Afghanistan.
The bilateral agreement was signed between the two nations in May 2016 under which India would refurbish one of the berths at Shahid Beheshti Port, and reconstruct a 600-meter-long container handling facility at the port.
However, only a portion of the two berths has been completed because of the deteriorating relations between the US and Iran following the election of US President Donald Trump as he reimposed economic sanctions on Iran in 2018.