Indian and Iranian officials on Monday discussed the full operationalisation of a trilateral transit agreement for using Chabahar port as an international transport and transit hub to access landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia.
The issue figured in the 16th round of foreign office consultations in Tehran between an Indian delegation headed by foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale and an Iranian team led by deputy foreign minister Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, a statement from the Indian foreign ministry said.
India, Iran and Afghanistan signed the trilateral transit agreement or the Chabahar agreement in May 2016. India took over operations at the Shahid Beheshti terminal at Chabahar port in December.
However, further work on the development of the port and a railway link to Zahedan has slowed due to sanctions on Iran by the US.India cut oil imports from Iran, after the US ended a waiver to sanctions on 2 May.
During the talks on Monday, India and Iran reviewed bilateral cooperation, ongoing connectivity and infrastructure development projects, including development of Shahid Beheshti terminal at Chabahar and the “full operationalisation" of the trilateral transit agreement, the Indian foreign ministry statement said.
“It was agreed to maintain the momentum of mutually beneficial multifaceted bilateral cooperation and exchanges between the two sides and to hold the next round of Joint Commission Meeting at the level of external affairs minister at an early date in Iran," the statement said.
The next round of foreign office consultations will be held in New Delhi. During his visit, Gokhale also met foreign minister Javad Zarif and Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to Iran’s supreme leader.