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“Thank Indian government for facilitating, holding this election in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune,” envoy Iraj Elahi on Iran Presidential polls

Iran's Ambassador to India, Iraj Elahi (Photo: ANI)

As voting begins in Iran for snap presidential elections, the country’s Ambassador to India, Iraj Elahi said that Iranians will elect their president according to the country’s Constitution, which is by the direct vote of the people.

He also thanked India for facilitating and holding this election in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune, extending gratitude to the Indian government.

While speaking to ANI in an interview, Elahi said, “Iranians will elect their president according to the Constitution of Iran, by the direct vote of the people. Four people are competing for the post. I think it will strengthen the sovereignty of Iran, internally and internationally. I thank the Indian government for facilitating and holding this election in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune… We hope that in the new government of Iran, the bilateral relations between India and Iran will strengthen.”

Notably, polling centres have been set up in these Indian cities, so that Iranians living in India can cast their vote.

The polls have opened for the snap Presidential elections in Iran on Friday, to elect the successor of Ebrahim Raisi, who met a tragic fate in a chopper crash on May 19 this year. 58,640 polling stations are set up across the country in public spaces including mosques and schools.

“The deceased President, Raisi played an important role in strengthening and progressing the relations of the two countries. The main contract of Chabahar was signed and we hope that in the coming months, that contract will be implemented,” the Iranian envoy said.

The Chabahar Port is an India-Iran flagship project that serves as an important transit port for trade with Afghanistan. India has been a key player in the development and operation of Chabahar Port.

As India and Iran signed a long-term contract for operating the Shahid-Beheshti Port Terminal in the presence of Indian and Iranian ministers, it is pertinent to note that the Chabahar port pact deal inked between the two nations will not only enhance regional connectivity but will also facilitate trade, particularly between India, Iran, and Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.

The Long-Term Bilateral Contract on Chabahar Port Operation was signed between Indian Ports Global Limited (IPGL) of India and the Port & Maritime Organisation (PMO) of Iran, enabling the operation of Shahid-Behesti in the Chabahar Port Development Project for a period of 10 years.

Meanwhile, on the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit and Iran being a new member of the grouping, Elahi says, “SCO is an important entity in the international community. It can play an important role in facilitating and paving the way for a new international order.”

“In the current international order, we are witnessing different problems – massacre in Gaza, starvation among people…The role of India in the new international order isn’t ignorable. India is a rising economy, a powerful country, and a pillar of Asia,” he said.

“We hope that India uses its potential to strengthen entities like BRICS and SCO,” the envoy further added.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organisation established in 2001. The SCO has India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its members.

Meanwhile, if no candidate wins 50 per cent of the vote in the Iran elections, a second round will be held on July 5.