TEHRAN (Iran News) – The long-term strategy of India is to purchase Iran’s oil, as large refineries in the South Asian country have been built in accordance with the Iranian oil’s quality, said the Indian ambassador to Tehran.
Gaddam Dharmendra told IRNA on Friday that Indian refineries have suffered losses due to not buying Iranian oil.
“Iran is our reliable partner and we want to maintain our relations.”
India and Iran are currently cooperating in the field of transportation within the framework of developing the southeastern Iranian port of Chabahar, he said, adding, “We have a partnership with the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran and are committed to its expansion.”
In terms of the banking and financial relations, the two countries’ central banks are in contact with each other and developing their ties, the envoy said, noting that a rupee-rial financial mechanism was activated by India and Iran prior to any other financial mechanism.
“We want the trade relations between the two countries to go beyond [exchanging] agricultural products, such as tea and rice, and include exports of engineering services.”
The two countries are preparing and finalizing a preferential trade agreement, said the official, adding that recently, the Iranian Parliament approved an agreement between Iran and India to avoid double taxation.
“We believe that these documents will facilitate trade relations between the two countries,” he noted.
Commenting on the impacts of Washington’s unilateral sanctions on cooperation between New Delhi and Tehran in developing the southeastern Iranian port, the ambassador said India has explained to the US about Chabahar port’s development and the contribution this transport corridor can make to the process of providing assistance to Afghanistan.
He added, “They have been convinced. As a result, Chabahar has been exempted from US sanctions against Iran. We consider this a unique achievement for India.”
Dharmendra noted that India is interested in participating in this project and looks forward to continuing expert and technical negotiations in this regard.
Due to the decrease in energy transactions between India and Iran, the level of bilateral trade has dropped compared to the past, he said.
“Our initial estimate of the value of [annual] trade between Iran and India in the current year is $3.4 billion. Of course, we have to wait for the official figure to be announced,” the envoy noted.
“Our effort is to bring the two countries’ chambers of commerce closer together to discuss maintaining the level of trade relations,” he concluded.