Iran seeks $8 bn Indian investments

New Delhi: Asking India to take advantage of the period ahead of lifting of sanctions against it, Iran has invited Indian investments of about USD 8 billion in infrastructure projects there without wasting time in “cheap negotiations”.

Asserting that Iran has been a “reliable partner”, Iranian Ambassador here Gholamreza Ansari said India should take advantage of the time before the western countries start making their investments after lifting of sanctions in the next 3-5 months.

“India has always been there even during the difficult time of sanctions. They should take advantage of their presence on the ground. Otherwise it will be a lost opportunity,” Ansari told PTI in an interview.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ufa, Russia, earlier this month on the sidelines of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Summit, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had offered India a bigger role in its strategic infrastructure projects including ports, railroads and highways and sought investments to the tune of USD eight billion, Ansari said.

“Prime Minister Modi was very positive. People here are very positive. But what I am trying to convey is that it should translate into action and we should not waste our time in cheap negotiations. We need to move forward.

“Iran is a reliable partner for the business. It used to be so for a long time (before sanctions) and the sentiments and attitude especially towards India is positive… India investing in Iran is obvious fruitful business for Indians,” the envoy said.

He also said Modi government’s focus is on connectivity which coincides with Iran’s government policy and therefore Iran has asked India to get into major projects like building strategic ports like Chabahar, constructing big highways and railroads.