Iran, India should not allow major powers to undermine their relations: FM

December 17, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said on Sunday that Iran and India should not allow external powers to disrupt relations between Tehran and New Delhi.

“We don’t want to use our relations with India against any country, and at the same time, we should not allow certain extra-regional powers to damage relations between the two countries,” Mottaki told visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon.
The Iranian foreign minister called Menon’s visit to Tehran a demonstration of friendship between the two nations of India and Iran, which enjoy millennia of relations.
Mottaki said Tehran believes that Iran and India have common regional and international interests and called on India to resist foreign pressure in its relations with Iran.
“As an independent state, the Islamic Republic of Iran decides about its relations with other countries independently,” Mottaki stressed.
Although all successive Iranian governments over the past 28 years have supported the development of ties with India, the low level of ties between the two great regional countries over the past two years is lamentable and serious efforts must be made to return relations to their former level, he noted.
Welcoming the Indian development plan, Mottaki said Iran is ready to meet India’s energy demands as foreseen in the plan.
Menon called relations between the two countries friendly and described Iran and India as two important and stable governments in the region which can help increase regional stability by establishing strong ties.
“The relationship with Iran is a foreign policy priority for India,” Menon stated.
The Indian official agreed with Mottaki’s assessment about the level of ties between the two states being less than what it should be, adding that the two countries should make use of all their potential to boost bilateral relations.
Menon also said that senior Indian officials would visit Iran in the near future to reinforce relations with Tehran.
Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili said cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi would promote multilateralism in the world.
“The strengthening of relations between Tehran and New Delhi, which are two important regional and international powers, can promote multilateralism,” Jalili stated during his meeting with the Indian foreign secretary.
In light of their longstanding historical ties and current potential, the two countries should plan for extensive long-term cooperation, Jalili observed.
Menon said Iran and India should cooperate to promote peace and security in the region.
India has a historical, friendly, and strategic view of Iran, he explained.
“New Delhi is prepared to develop its relations with Iran not only in Southwest Asia but in all other important and strategic areas.”
Menon added, “New Delhi is interested in establishing a strategic partnership with Iran in the areas of energy, transport, and security.