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India to invest in Iran in Rupees amid sanction fears

NEW DELHI: India, for the first time beyond Bhutan and Nepal, will invest in a foreign country — Iran — through its own national currency Rupee to bypass any trouble arising out of impending US sanctions. 

PM Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are expected to put a mechanism in place for this purpose when they meet here on Saturday. 

Rouhani is expected to seek Indian investments across sectors from ports, railway network and SEZ when he meets the Indian leadership and address a business meet here on Saturday. India has decided to invest in its national currency in Iran, which will be first of its kind, beyond Nepal and Bhutan, persons familiar with the matter said. 

Rouhani arrived in Hyderabad on Thursday evening and will lead Friday prayers in a leading mosque in Southern Indian city before arriving in Delhi. Rouhani who has been to Hyderabad before in a different capacity was keen to revisit the city and connect with Iranian legacy there. 

The Indian investments in Rupees will get converted into Iranian Rial through banking mechanism allowing investments from here, including in the Chabahar Port complex, said one of the persons quoted above. 

India which has started operating Chabahar Port on Iran’s east coast as a way to gain access to Afghanistan is assisting to expand port complex that will be Delhi’s gateway to Central Asia and beyond.