Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit here and the two leaders discussed issues of bilateral and mutual interests.

The two leaders are in this historic Uzbek city of Samarkand to attend the 22nd SCO summit. Iran has been a key country for India in the Gulf region. The two sides have been jointly focusing on improving connectivity between South East Asia and Central Asia.

India has been projecting Iran’s Chabahar Port as a key regional transit hub including Afghanistan.

Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran’s southern coast, the Chabahar port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost connectivity and trade ties.

India has been in touch with Iran over the developments in Afghanistan as well following its takeover by the Taliban on August 15 last year.

Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a telephonic conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, focusing on bilateral cooperation, and the Iran nuclear deal.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, was finalised in 2015 between Tehran and several world powers including the European Union.

It was aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The US had withdrawn from the deal in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

There have been fresh efforts now to restore the deal.