What Masoud Pezeshkian’s Presidential Win Means To India

Pezeshkian, a seasoned lawmaker and cardiac surgeon, has long supported both domestic and international reforms in Iran. His win is viewed as a call for change since it came after a general unhappiness with the hardline policies of his predecessors.

India-Iran relationship Edited by Updated: Jul 06, 2024, 3:07 pm
What Masoud Pezeshkian’s Presidential Win Means To India

What Masoud Pezeshkian’s Presidential Win Means To India (image@drpezeshkian)

Masoud Pezeshkian’s presidency promises a shift towards more pragmatic and reformist policies. Question looms on how will Pezeshkian’s presidency reshape Iran-India relations.

Pezeshkian, a seasoned lawmaker and cardiac surgeon, has long supported both domestic and international reforms in Iran. His win is viewed as a call for change since it came after a general unhappiness with the hardline policies of his predecessors. However, the dynamics of Iranian politics, where hardliners still control the majority and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei retains ultimate authority, will put Pezeshkian’s ability to carry out his vision to the test.

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Iraj Elahi, Iran’s ambassador to India, said, “Today, we are holding the second round of the presidential election. More than 700 polling centres are accepting the vote of Iranians. We hope that by tomorrow morning we will have a new president. There will be no changes in Iranian foreign policy and internal policy. Both discourses emphasise strengthening Iranian power internally and externally.”

Historically, Iran and India have shared strong economic ties. Reportedly, the ties are likely to deepen under Pezeshkian’s presidency. The main focus will be on the strategic Chabahar Port, a project to which India has already committed heavy investments. The port is an important transit point for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan. India has pledged $120 million for the development of the Shahid-Beheshti Port terminal and offered a $250 million credit line for infrastructure projects in Iran.

As per experts’ opinion, Iran’s general foreign policy is unlikely to change whoever takes over next. However, the modus operandi and the details of the moves may change.

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Tehran is one of India’s key sources of crude oil. With Iran eyeing an increase in the exports of oil against the backdrop of ongoing Western sanctions, India could be looking at a reliable and arguably cheaper source of crude oil.

The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is another platform for close cooperation between India and Iran. It is a multi-modal transportation route connecting India to Russia via Iran. This corridor increases connectivity in terms of trade and bilateral ties for regional stability.