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Iran, India Call for Strengthening Economic, Political Ties

By Nigar Bayramli May 2, 2023

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi held a meeting with visiting Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in Tehran on May 1, 2023. / president.ir

India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi discussed deepening economic, political and security ties between the two countries, during Doval’s one-day visit to Tehran.

“Strengthening bilateral cooperation between Iran and India, in addition to providing mutual benefits, can have constructive effects in resolving regional issues, including the Afghanistan issue,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said during the meeting on May 1, the president’s official website reported.

He added that Iran and India, as two influential countries in the region, can be more effective in the changes caused by the establishment of the new world order by promoting their cooperation to a new level.

The Iranian president highlighted the significant role that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the BRICS could play as the world undergoes changes and a new global order takes shape.

"Regional and international organisations, especially SCO and BRICS, with considerable power and resources, can be very effective in the midst of changes taking place in the world," Raisi said.

In turn, Doval referred to key changes taking place across the globe, saying that for India to have a positive impact on these changes, it needs to deepen and expand relations with its neighbours, especially Iran.

Doval also met with Iran’s Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani where they emphasized a pledge to fight terrorism in all forms to establish peace, stability and security in the region.

They signed a joint statement, which noted the importance of promoting economic development, particularly in the transport sector. It also encouraged collaboration with other countries in the Middle East and the Caucasus region, with a focus on upgrading existing corridors, including the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which uses Chabahar as a transit hub in the region.

The need to strengthen cooperation in bilateral, regional and multilateral frameworks, including the integration of transportation systems to promote regional connectivity were also among the points mentioned in the statement.

The Chabahar project, a potential regional trading hub in south-eastern Iran, was highlighted as a symbol of bilateral engagement.

The two sides expressed their concerns about the humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan, and their support for the establishment of an inclusive government with the meaningful participation of all groups and ethnicities.

Shamkhani also called for the activation of a rial-rupee mechanism in Iran-India trade, saying that it would play a decisive role in Tehran's economic dealings with New Delhi.

In a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on May 1, Doval highlighted the importance of cooperation with Iran in various fields considering the current international conditions and the imminent developments in the global arena.

He also called for the formulation of a road map to cooperation between New Delhi and Tehran within the framework of a long-term partnership plan.

Doval also noted that India’s participation in the development of Iran’s south-eastern port city of Chabahar would contribute to closer cooperation among the other Central Asian states, the Caucasus and Russia.

For his part, Amir-Abdollahian stressed the need for efforts to promote regional and international cooperation between Iran and India in various fields, such as the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

The two officials also weighed plans to enhance economic and trade ties between the two sides and discussed the issues relating to Afghanistan, the negotiations on the removal of sanctions against Iran, and a series of regional developments.