India, Iran ink 6 pacts; to boost strategic cooperation

India, Iran signed six pacts, including review of bilateral ties in strategic areas.

New Delhi: Inking of six pacts, including
transfer of sentenced persons and extensive review of India-
Iran ties in strategic areas such as counter-terrorism,
economic and joint projects in the region were highlights of
the Iranian Economic Affairs and Finance minister`s visit here
during which he co-chaired the 16th Joint Commission Meeting.

With a focus on instilling fresh momentum in the ties,
particularly in strategic areas, both countries discussed
issues of direct benefit to their people during the two-day
session of the Joint Commission, which ended today and was co
-chaired on the Iranian side by Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini and
on the Indian side by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

"The meeting of the Joint Commission provided an
opportunity to review bilateral economic and cultural
cooperation. It was agreed that the next Session of the Joint
Commission would be held in Tehran," an official release said

During his visit, Hosseini called on Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and also met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

Issues of bilateral, regional and international
importance were discussed during the meetings between the two
sides. Joint cooperation projects such as Chabahar Port,
energy cooperation, economic ties and counter-terrorism were
also deliberated upon with an aim to find ways to enhance and
carry forward the joint efforts in these strategic areas.

India is also understood to have stressed for structured,
systematic and regular consultations with Iran on the
Afghanistan situation and reiterated its position that all
efforts should be made to avoid the return of fundamentalist
and extremist groups there.

The six pacts which were signed during the meeting were
-- Air Services Agreement, Transfer of Sentenced Persons
Agreement, MoU on Cooperation in New and Renewable Energy and
MoU on Cooperation in Small Scale Industry between National
Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) and Iranian Small
Industries and Industrial Parks Organisation (ISIPO).

The two others were Programme of Cooperation on Science
and Technology and MoU on Cooperation between Central Pulp and
Paper Research Institute of India (CPPRI) and Gorgan
University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources