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Iranian Foreign Minister calls on Modi, Swaraj

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held meetings with senior ministers including his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj during which key bilateral issues of trade and investments were discussed.

Zarif, who arrived last night, met Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari, who had visited Tehran in May when the two inked an agreement to develop Chabahar port, located on Iran's southeastern coast. The strategically important port would provide India a sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.

Though officials did not divulge details of what transpired in these meetings, it is understood that discussions focused on strengthening connectivity through Indian investments there and boosting supply of oil trade from Iran.

"Continuing engagement. After meeting President @HassanRouhani in Ufa, PM @narendramodi receives FM @JZarif in Delhi," the spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry tweeted after Zarif's meeting with Modi.

During his meeting with Swaraj, it is believed that the issue of nine Indians, who have been in a jail in Iran for two years on charges of smuggling oil was raised by New Delhi. The Indians, who were part of a shipping crew, have been asked to pay a fine of Rs 19 crore for securing their release.

First Published: Fri, August 14 2015. 14:22 IST