1053 GMT December 14, 2019
A senior official in Khorasan Razavi, the province where Mashhad is the capital city, said that the route announcement was finalized after a recent meeting between the provincial governor and India’s ambassador to Iran, Press TV reported.
Ali Rasulian said that a coordination meeting was held earlier between officials from various government departments, adding that a representative from Iran’s Ata Airlines, a carrier based in the city of Tabriz which will accommodate the flight, was also present at the meeting.
The route will be a first to directly link Hyderabad to an Iranian city. Flights from the Iranian capital Tehran to Hyderabad are normally carried out via airports in the Persian Gulf region.
The flight is expected to attract a significant number of pilgrims from Hyderabad to the holy shrine of Imam Reza, the eight Shia Imam, which is located in Mashhad.
Hyderabad, in southern India, has a population of more than seven million people. An estimated 200,000 Shia Muslims live in the city, the second largest Shia community in India after Lucknow.
There is a strong cultural link between Hyderabad and Iran as the city and its surrounding regions have been home to a small but powerful Iranian community for more than 400 years.
Iranians run major businesses in Hyderabad, including in food and catering. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani traveled to the city in February last year while he was on an official visit to India.
Last week, the head of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Mojtaba Zolnour, in a meeting with Indian Ambassador to Tehran Dharmendra, lauded the broad ties between Tehran and New Delhi, and called for meticulous planning for further expansion of trade and economic ties.
During the meeting, Zolnour said that political and economic cooperation between Iran and India is on the right track but should be further bolstered.
He referred to the level of trade exchange between the two countries, saying that the US, by fomenting a crisis in the region and imposing new sanctions on Iran’s economic and business exchanges, has affected economic and trade exchanges; careful planning should be used to help strengthen and deepen economic relations.