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Iran identifies new technologies, commercial ties to promote relationship with India

External affairs minister S Jaishankar, Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi stressed the importance of close cooperation and coordination between India and Iran (HT_PRINT)Premium
External affairs minister S Jaishankar, Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi stressed the importance of close cooperation and coordination between India and Iran (HT_PRINT)

  • According to the Iranian statement, Raisi said that the Iranian government will pursue a policy of developing relations with neighbouring countries and the region, especially India

NEW DELHI: Iran’s new president Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi on Friday identified new technologies and commercial ties as areas to promote India-Iran ties.

Raisi who was formally sworn in on Thursday also said that Iran welcomed a role for India in the “establishment of security in Afghanistan," according to a statement in English on the Iranian president’s official website.

Raisi made the comments in a meeting with Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar who called on him in Tehran on Friday. It came on a day when Qatar’s Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, the Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of Qatar for Counter-terrorism and Mediation of Conflict Resolution met senior officials in New Delhi and discussed the situation in Afghanistan, people familiar with the matter said.

According to the Iranian statement, Raisi said that “the Iranian government will pursue a policy of developing relations with neighbouring countries and the region, especially India."

"There are various sectors, especially in the economic and commercial fields, as well as new technologies, that we should use to promote the level of our relations," the new president was quoted as saying.

Ties between India and Iran have had their ups and downs thanks to US sanctions on Tehran for its suspect nuclear programme. India has been keen to pursue ties with the key country in the Gulf region but has been keeping a low profile given its relations with Washington. New Delhi sees Tehran as a key partner in its efforts to access landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia as well as for security cooperation vis a vis the Taliban.

“Emphasising the need for a joint programme to increase the level of Tehran-New Delhi relations, Ayatollah Raisi said, ‘By moving in the direction of a joint cooperation programme, we can take steps to bring about different conditions at the level of relations between the two countries in the interests of the two nations,’ " the statement said.

On Afghanistan the statement quoted the president as saying that "the fate of Afghanistan must be decided by the Afghans themselves, and we believe that if the Americans do not sabotage the situation, this issue will be resolved quickly."

In his remarks, Jaishankar said that he would convey Raisi’s message to the Indian president and prime minister, the Iranian statement said.

"The current level of relations is not favourable and we are determined to establish long-term cooperation in the interests of our nations, given the serious will of the Iranian side," the statement quoted the Indian foreign minister as saying.

Jaishankar who returns home on Friday will meet Qatar’s Al-Qahtani on Saturday, one of the people cited above said. On Friday, Al-Qahtani called on Sanjay Bhattacharya, Secretary (CPV and OIA) and discussed bilateral affairs, the person said besides meeting Singh who deals with Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.

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