‘Scope of Indo-Iran ties very vast’

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TEHRAN: Iran’s Supreme Leader has welcomed expansion of ties with India saying grounds for mutual cooperation were ‘very vast’.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei said this during a meeting with the visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who called on him at his office before signing off his two-day visit to Tehran.

“A rare honour, signifying the strength of the unique relationship. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei receives PM @narendramodi,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.

Ayatollah Khamenei referring to ages of cultural, economic and popular connections between Iran and India, dubbed grounds for bilateral cooperation between the two countries ‘very vast’ and stated that “the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes expansion of ties with India which is an emerging and pioneering global economy; and Iran is completely serious in implementing bilateral agreements with India and this will not be influenced by any policy.”

Pointing to bright future of India’s economy and huge oil and gas reservoirs of Iran which make it the richest country in the world in sum of oil and gas reserves, Iranian leader said “besides oil and gas, as you mentioned, Chabahar is one of important connecting points between east and west, and south and north, which can pave grounds for long-term, fruitful and deep cooperation.”

He also hailed New Delhi’s right policy of not joining any Western or American so-called anti-terrorism coalitions; “real and serious confrontation with terrorism can be another area of cooperation between Iran and India as some Western countries are not serious in fighting terrorism, and have had roles in formation of terrorist movements in Afghanistan as well as terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.

Leader of the Iran’s Islamic Revolution emphasized that the fight against terrorism, which is regretfully exploiting name of Islam, must be handed over to the Muslims and Islamic countries; “however, those Islamic countries must be involved in this confrontation who are not followers of US and Western policies, because they have no intention to fight against terrorists really and seriously,” he asserted. “The Islamic Republic is serious in its fight against terrorism and takes advantage of all its facilities to confront them.”

Touching upon some terrorist groups and organizations’ abuse of some problems and weak points in Muslim communities to recruit members, the Leader stressed that such excuses must be prevented in order that terrorists cannot exploit them. “Terrorism is an infectious and dangerous disease and like any other contagious disease, terrorism can also be contained and controlled.”

In this meeting where President Rouhani was also present, Indian Prime Minister described the visit helpful in deepening relations between the two countries and said; “In this trip, good agreements and great decisions were made which I’m sure will bear fruits with the resolute will of the two sides.”

He reaffirmed Ayatollah Khamenei’s position on threat of terrorism and necessity of a serious confrontation against it and added that “unfortunately, some countries divide terrorism into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and only pay lip service in fight against terrorism.”

Indian PM dubbed Islam as religion of passion and kindness, and with no connections to terrorism; “a few years ago, India proposed holding of an international conference on fight against terrorism among Islamic countries, but it was opposed by some western countries. Countries serious in confrontation against terrorism must stand together and cooperate more closely,” he concluded.

Indian Prime Minister gifted a specially commissioned reproduction of a rare seventh-century manuscript of the Holy Quran attributed to Hazrat Imam Ali to Ayatollah Khamenei.

Written in Kufic script, the manuscript is a prized possession of the Ministry of Culture’s at Rampur Raza Library in Uttar Pradesh.

Kufic – developed around the end of the 7th century in Kufa, Iraq – is the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts. 

Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Islamic Republic after 15 years on a bilateral visit after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also gifted President Hassan Rouhani specially commissioned reproductions of Mirza Ghalib’s collection of poetry in Persian.

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