New Delhi: External affairs minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday met his visiting Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in New Delhi and “took forward the bilateral discussion on Chabahar”, the seaport in Iran that is if vital strategic significance to India. The Iranian minister had earlier called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday during which Mr Modi “thanked the Iranian leadership for the progress in Chabahar project, including through designating it as a special economic zone”.
India has been worried over recent military tensions between the United States and Iran due to any possible fallout on its strategic port development project at Chabahar which provides sea-land connectivity from India to Afghanistan and Central Asia bypassing Pakistan. On Thursday, EAM Jaishankar tweeted, “Appreciated his sharing of perspectives and assessments. Took forward our bilateral discussion on Chabahar.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Iranian foreign minister while speaking at the Raisina Dialogue conference in New Delhi had lambasted the United States, comparing it to a “high-school bully”. Ties between the US and Iran had plummeted to dangerous levels recently after the US assassinated Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in Baghdad a few days ago, in a missile strike by an American drone.