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India moving closer to Iran

In order to boost economic cooperation between India and Iran, especially in the field of energy, foreign ministers of both countries participated in the 16th joint commission which was held in New Delhi recently. The two-day meet was aimed at strengthening the economic bonding between the two countries. The focal point of the discussion was energy cooperation, trade corridors in Afghanistan and Central Asia and the Iran-India-Pakistan gas pipeline. Initially the pipeline project was kept on balance on the ground that it might be very expensive but in the recent meet both the countries, led by foreign minister SM Krishna and Iran’s Economy minister Shamsheddin Hosseini, discussed it at length. The technical groups are already in support of India joining the pipeline. Despite having reservations over Tehran’s nuclear programme, India wants to maintain a proactive policy towards Iran considering it to be a country of immense strategic significance for India. Prior to this meet foreign secretary Nirupama Rao had said “Iran is a country which is extremely important to India from the perspective of energy security. India has repeatedly made it clear that accessing energy resources from all parts of the world is absolutely critical to the continued growth of its economy and Iran has the potential to play an important role in this regard. Economic minister of Iran expressed the hope that Iran would meet India’s oil requirements and invited Indian companies to invest in his country in the energy sector

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2010 on page no. 6

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