Modi in Iran: PM visits Gurudwara in Tehran, meets Indian diaspora

Tehran: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Tehran on a two-day visit to Iran on Sunday.

Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister having visited Iran in the last 15 years. He was received at the Mehrabad International Airport by Iran’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia.

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Modi then started with the cultural connect and visited the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha Gurudwara in Tehran.

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The PM paid respects at the Gurudwara to support old community linkages with Iran. Accompanied by Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and others, he participated in the prayer as well.

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In the wake of his visit to the gurudwara, the Indian diaspora here expressed their happiness and hoped that his visit will be a successful one.

“Our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji is arriving at the Tehran gurudwara. We are very happy that he is visiting here. It’s been ages since (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s last visited here. We are eagerly waiting for his arrival. We are hoping that his visit to Iran will be a successful one. We extend our good wishes to both the governments,” said a local at the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha gurudwara in Tehran.

Formal talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled for Monday morning after a ceremonial welcome for the Prime Minister. Rouhani will also host a lunch for him.

Narendra Modi leaves for Iran from New Delhi on Sunday

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Modi will also call on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well before his return.

Modi is looking to strengthen trade, investment and energy ties with Iran and is expecting a deal on development of Phase-1 of the Chabahar port. With this deal, India is looking at doubling oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation, which a few years back was its second-biggest oil supplier, as well as making progress on getting rights to develop a giant gas field in the energy-rich country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at AFS Palam in New Delhi on Sunday before his departure for Iran

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Besides visiting Gurudwara, he will also inaugurate an International Conference on ‘retrospect and prospect’ of India and Iran relations.

“I am looking forward to my visit to Iran today & tomorrow, at the invitation of President Rouhani,” he added.

(With Inputs from Agencies)