India, Iran discuss Israeli diplomat attack, N-talks

Attack on Israeli diplomat in February, export of wheat to Tehran, Iranian dialogue with P5+1 on its contentious nuclear programme were among the key issues discussed between India and Iran.

Updated: Oct 16, 2012, 21:13 PM IST

New Delhi: Attack on Israeli diplomat here in February, export of wheat to Tehran, Chabahar port and Iranian dialogue with P5+1 on its contentious nuclear programme were among the key issues discussed between India and Iran here on Tuesday.

The issues figured during the 10th round of Foreign Office Consultations held between the two countries, official sources said, adding the Iranian delegation was led by visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Sayed Abbas Araghchi and the Indian delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.

The two sides discussed various aspects of bilateral relations, including issues related to forthcoming Joint Commission meeting to be held in Tehran next month which will be attended by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna.

Amongst bilateral issues discussed included export of Indian wheat to Iran, issues related to Chabahar port, consular access and release of fishermen based in Qatar who had strayed into Iranian territorial waters and reiteration of the request for Iranian assistance to Indian investigations into the attack on an Israeli diplomat in Delhi, sources said.

On Chabahar port, the Indian side has conveyed that it was committed to carrying on with the infrastructure development work and was in the process of internal discussion with various ministries to decide on the investment option, sources said, adding India would be ready with the plan at the time of the Joint Commission meeting.

In addition, views were also exchanged on various international issues including the role of the NAM, situation in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iranian dialogue with P5+1 on Tehran`s contentious nuclear programme, they said. Iran also briefed India on its views on the dialogue with P5+1 (France, Germany, the UK, China, Russia, and the US) and reaffirmed the peaceful nature of Tehran`s nuclear energy programme based on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

On wheat exports to Iran, sources said that due to the trade gap between the two countries, India wanted to export some "big ticket item" to the west Asian country. The wheat export transactions will be done through the UCO Bank in India, through which 45 percent of payment for import of Iranian crude oil is made in Rupees.

Foreign Office consultations between India and Iran were first held in October 2001 and since then nine rounds of such consultations have taken place so far, the last one being in July, 2011 in Tehran.

The visiting Deputy Foreign Minister called on Krishna and expressed his satisfaction about the good and friendly relations existing between the two countries. He also mentioned that they looked forward to EAM`s visit to Tehran for the Joint Commission meeting later during the year.