By Aarti Tikoo Singh
New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is likely to make a stopover in Iran on Tuesday on his way to a four-day visit to Russia, where he is expected to hold bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Sources told IANS that India and Iran are to explore the revival of regional approach to diplomacy with respect to Afghanistan following the US-Taliban peace deal. China and Iran share a strong bilateral relationship and have a strategic alliance in the region.
On Saturday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had met his Iranian counterpart Brig General Amir Hatami in Tehran enroute New Delhi from Moscow.
India’s strategic alliance with the US — the arch-rival of both China and Iran — has strained its relationship with Tehran, especially after the Trump administration killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Major General Qassem Soleimani and other top military leaders of Iran in an air strike in Baghdad in January this year.
The Chabahar port in Iran, which India is helping develop to access oil and gas resources in Central Asia, has seen very slow progress since.
The project is important to India as the port aims to offset the competition China poses with its Gwadar port built in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.