Press Release on the Visit of Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, Dr. Mehdi Safari

August 29, 2006

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  • Iran

In keeping with the practice of regular high level exchanges between India and Iran, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia, Oceania and Commonwealth, Dr. Mehdi Safari, who arrived this morning, held talks with Secretary(East), Shri Rajiv Sikri.. The discussions covered bilateral and regional issues, and focused in particular on the nuclear issue and cooperation in the energy sector.

Dr. Safari explained Iran's response to the P5+1 package. He emphasised that Iran is open to negotiations and is willing to cooperate fully with IAEA but will insist on its rights under the NPT and on the issue being reverted to the IAEA. Secretary(East) underlined that India does not want confrontation and destabilization in the region. He said that India believes that as a signatory to the NPT Iran must enjoy all its rights and honour all its obligations. He emphasised that India wants all issues to be resolved through dialogue and discussion rather than coercion.

On energy India emphasised the importance of Iran honouring the LNG deal signed in June 2005. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the gas pipeline project.

Dr. Safari also called on the National Security Adviser, Shri M.K.Narayanan, and Foreign Secretary, Shri Shyam Saran.