Iran Assures Co-operation In Transition Of Indian Goods

New Delhi, January 27: | Updated: Jan 28 2003, 05:30am hrs
Iran on Monday declared that it was fully prepared to provide all the required facilities for the export of Indian commodities and products to the world market through the North-South Corridor agreed upon with India and Russia recently.

Talks On Joint Defence Exercises
Our Political Bureau

New Delhi, January 27: Iranian defence minister Ali Shamkhani and his Indian counterpart George Fernandes met on Monday to discuss joint exercises between the two countries and training of officers of the three services.
According to highly placed ministerial sources, the two ministers also talked about joint weapons development. It is understood they exchanged views on the global security scenario. India has indicated readiness to sell some military hardware to Iran. However, despite their mutual interests and numerous initiatives to improve relations, there are limits to Tehran and New Delhi becoming close strategic allies especially as regards the transfer of sophisticated technology and weapons, sources pointed out.
Significantly, during defence secretary Yogendra Narains visit to Tehran in March 2001, Irans defence minister Ali Shamkhani had stressed the need for cooperation in defence matters. Consequently, the two states have initiated a security dialogue on major developments in their region and elsewhere in the world. At present, according to defence ministry sources, Iran-India defence ties focus mainly on research and cooperation in the spheres of industry and technology.

Iranian President Seyed Mohammad Khatami said Irans easy access to Central Asia and Europe had given impetus to the existing opportunities for the implementation of common projects by the two countries.

Seeking joint co-operation in the areas of energy, IT, education and tourism as well as reconstruction of Afghanistan, President Khatami said Iran was prepared to increase the volume of crude exports to India.

Addressing a business session jointly organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi, he said, India is one of the best customers of Iranian crude oil, and we are fully prepared to raise the volume of share of crude oil exports to India.

President Khatami invited the Indian business community to invest in the areas of gas and oil in his country while stressing on the immediate implementation of the gas pipeline from Iran to India.

A relatively long time has passed since its preliminary planning, the project is still in the phase of its feasibility studies, he said adding the two counties can also explore all other possibilities for the supply of Indian energy by Iran to India.

Asking the Indian side to cooperate in the investment and implementation of common projects for reconstruction of Afghanistan, President Khatami said for this purpose we have presented mutual proposals to raise the infrastructure for the routes of Chahbahar-Fahraj and Delaram-Zaram to be carried out with the co-operation of India.

Noting that new initiatives have been taken to establish new air routes between the two countries, President Khatami said both countries must try to remove obstacles through dialogue, review and resolutions, that were hindering the process of co-operation between the two countries.