India and Iran will discuss Delhi’s participation in the upgradation of Irans Chahbahar port,which gives access to Afghanistan,as External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid goes to Tehran on Friday on a three-day visit.
The two sides will also sign three MoUs,in the field of water resources and diplomat training,following the Joint Commission meeting that is taking place after a gap of two and a half years.
India is looking at ways to increase trade with Iran as it is concerned over the grave imbalance. The two-way trade is around $15 billion,out of which Indian exports account only for around $2.5 billion.
Oil is the biggest item of Indian import from Iran but India feels there is a lot of scope for increasing Indian exports to the Persian country particularly in pharmaceuticals and food.
However,efforts to enhance trade have been facing hurdles because of sanctions imposed by the UN and European Union,which make payment difficult.
There are also problems like re-insurance of oil refineries and transportation of consignment from Iran because of the sanctions.
We adhere closely to the UN sanctions but we are not bound by unilateral sanctions…. But these sanctions have had an impact on legitimate trade, a source said,adding the two sides have been discussing a way out of this situation.