• India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) visited Iran to attend the swearing-in ceremony of new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. This marks a landmark event attempting to reset the ties with Iran that have been under strain in recent times.
  • This is EAM’s second visit in a month and it comes amid a sharp escalation of the fighting in Afghanistan between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces.

Important points:

  • Geo-strategic Outreach: India views Iran as key to access land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asia through Chabahar Port
  • Iran’s geographical position is paramount to India’s geopolitical outreach, especially to Central Asia, a rich reservoir of natural resources.
  • Similarly, Iran is vital for India’s access to Afghanistan in which India has immense strategic and security interests.
  • Further, India has been developing the Chabahar port in a bid to bypass the impediments placed by Pakistan in the way of its attempts to trade with Afghanistan.
  • Iran, one of the richest countries in hydrocarbons and India, a rapidly growing economy with a deep thirst for energy – make them natural partners.


  • India cancelling oil imports from Iran due to US sanctions.
  • Slow progress in Chabahar port.
  • Tussle over Farzad-B Gas Field.
  • Iranian comments on Kashmir over the past few years.
  • Security Concerns Emanating From Afghanistan: Visit comes amidst rapid developments in Afghanistan, with the US completing the pull-out of troops and the Taliban increasing its attacks on Afghan cities.
  • The rapid advance of Taliban concerns both India and Iran.
  • Given this context, and common interests, it is necessary for India and Iran to cooperate more closely, particularly on Afghanistan.


  • India’s Exclusion in Afgan Peace Process: Another “Troika plus” meeting, the U.S.-Russia-China-Pakistan grouping on Afghanistan peace process, is going to be held in Doha.
  • However, India and Iran, which are two regional powers, are being left out.
  • Persisting Sanctions on Iran: Despite campaign promises to reverse the Donald Trump policy on Iran, US President Joe Biden’s administration is yet to withdraw most of the additional sanctions placed in 2017-2018.

Way Forward

  • India has proposed to include the Chabahar port in the framework of the International North South Transport Corridor.
  • In this context, the formation of India-Uzbekistan-Iran-Afghanistan Quadrilateral Working Group on the joint use of Chabahar port is a welcome development.


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