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India's FM in Tehran for talks

TEHRAN, Nov. 01 (ISNA)-Iran and India have discussed signing 11 Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) and agreements on support of joint investments, cut in double taxes and implementation of infrastructure projects during the 15th economic commission in Tehran.

President Ahmadinejad and Indian FM

The Indian high-ranking delegation comprising of Indian Foreign Minister, representatives of Indian scientific, technological, agricultural and tourism centers and five deputy ministers have taken part in the commission.

The Indian board will hold talks with Iran's Expediency Council Chairman, Parliament Speaker, Oil and Foreign Ministers.

Indian FM: Iran's nuclear issue should be resolved through talks

Tehran, Nov 1, IRNA - Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee conferred in Tehran on Saturday with Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on issues on mutual interests as well as Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.

At the meeting, the Indian minister said that the issue of Tehran's nuclear program should be resolved through peaceful means and exerting pressures or imposing economic sanctions would be of no use.

The Indian minister also congratulated Larijani on assuming office as Iranian Majlis speaker and wished him success in carrying out this grave duty.

For his part, Larijani said that the deep-rooted ties between the two nations are based on cultural and civilizational roots and are of prime importance for both sides.

Iran's strategy after the victory of the Islamic Revolution is based on promoting relations with other independent states, he said adding that bilateral relations have experienced a good growth in recent years.

Referring to the current volume of trade between the two countries which hit dlrs 10 billion, he said that there are huge potentials for further broadening and bolstering economic, industrial and commercial cooperation between the two countries. It is expected that Iran-India Economic Commission meeting will help boost and upgrade such ties, he underlined.

Highlighting the significant role of Majlis in expansion of mutual cooperation between the two countries, he said that the Majlis fully backs expansion of all-out ties with India.

The two sides have very close stance on regional and global developments, Larijani said adding that the current regional developments requires further cooperation between the two countries.

The Indian foreign minister, for his part, expressed satisfaction with the expansion of mutual cooperation and said India will spare no efforts to accomplish this.

Ties between Iran and India are never influenced by others, he underlined.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the only legal body to review Iran's peaceful nuclear dossier, he said adding that by resorting to pressures or economic sanctions it is not possible to resolve the country's nuclear issue. He noted that the issue could only be resolved through talks.

Regional crisis could be resolved by consolidating ties among countries in the region, he said adding that at the Iran-India Economic Commission meeting, the two sides agreed to further bolster and broaden mutual cooperation.

Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy: India

New Delhi, Nov 1, IRNA -India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in an exclusive interview with IRNA has emphasized Iran's right on Nuclear Peace Process.

He said: We firmly are of the view that Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

In an interview with IRNA ahead of departure to Tehran, Mukherjee explained his opinion about his visit to Tehran for participating in Iran-India joint commission before he left India.

Excerpts of interview:

Q.1: Your Excellency's visit to Tehran is taking place in a desirable circumstance after the inking of the US-India nuclear deal, the visit is, in fact, an affirmation of the strong relations between Iran and India and a rejection of the rumors that the deal may influence the ties between Tehran and New Delhi. What is your views in this regard?

Pranab: India-Iran relations are important in themselves because of our historic, civilizational as well as contemporary ties. Regular exchange of high level visits has always been characteristic of our relations. This is in fact my third visit in about 20 months and underscores both the importance which India gives to its relations with Iran as also the substantive interests India and Iran have in common.

Q.2: It seems that the relations between Iran and India have to be evaluated without the prospect of peace pipeline. How do you think about this?

Pranab: India and Iran have a broad based relationship and no single issue defines it in its entirety. Energy security is important for India and Iran as a major hydrocarbon exporting country. The energy aspect of our relationship is therefore also extremely important. Both sides are committed to the Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline Project which is an important part of our much wider relationship on energy related issues.

Q.3: What percentage of the energy need of India would be met by the US-India nuclear deal? Which are the other plans India is looking for to have access to the secure energy resources?

Pranab: As an energy deficient country we have to use all available sources of energy - Thermal, Hydro, Nuclear, Solar, Wind, etc. Just as the Civil Nuclear Agreement is important from our energy security point of view, similarly, other sources are also important and we will pursue all possible sources to meet our energy requirements so as to ensure that our developmental goals are fully achieved.

Q.4: NAM has increased its influence on the international developments. Do you think that NAM will regain its earlier strong position in the international levels.

Pranab: NAM continues to provide the guiding principle of the foreign policies of many countries and has continued relevance for the countries of Asia and the entire developing world India as a founder member of NAM is convinced of the continued importance.

Q.5: The Western and Indian media have said many things on the recent remarks of the Indian Prime Minister about Iran's peaceful nuclear activities. What exactly was the context of the Prime Minister's remarks? Particularly, it is said that the Prime Minister uttered the remarks keeping in mind the US-India nuclear deal.

Pranab: In my view the Prime Minister stated our position which is well known. We have all along been saying that all issues relating to Iran's Nuclear Programme must be resolved through dialogue and understanding and that confrontation must be avoided. We believe that the IAEA must play a central role in resolving all the outstanding issue.

Q.6: As your Excellency is well aware, the negotiations between Iran and the Group of 5+1 are advancing well and it seems that the group is satisfied. Particularly, the reports of the Secretary General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) endorse a good cooperation of Iran with the world body. Since, Your Excellency had earlier said that Iran's nuclear issue has to be taken out of the political concept and put it into a technical and legal one, how do you see the process in this regard?

Pranab: As I said we believe that the IAEA must play a central role in this process. We firmly are of the view that Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and in a manner that is consistent with its international obligations and commitments.

... Payvand News - 11/01/08 ... --

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