Krishna meets Iranian Speaker to deepen ties

India on Sunday sought to put behind its IAEA vote against Iran as it sought to strengthen its ties with the energy rich Persian Gulf nation.

Tehran: India on Sunday sought to put behind
its IAEA vote against Iran as it sought to strengthen its ties
with the energy rich Persian Gulf nation.

India`s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, the third most
powerful leader in the Islamic Republic, to further bilateral
cooperation.

"India has always had very cordial relations with
Iran. We indeed look up to strengthening our relations (with
Iran)," Krishna said in his opening remarks at the meeting
with Larijani.

New Delhi wants to deepen energy and trade ties with
Iran, which it views as an important ally in the region.

"We are looking forward to strengthening our relations
(with Iran)," Krishna said, adding though his visit to Tehran
was to attend the G-15 Summit tomorrow, the purpose was mostly
bilateral.

India had voted for an IAEA resolution censuring Iran
in November last year at Vienna. Subsequently, Iran had
written a "nasty" letter to India protesting its action.

Admiring India`s rapid economic growth, Larijani said
Tehran saw India as an important trading partner.

"We have very cordial and friendly relations with
Iran," he said pointing to the USD 40 billion bilateral trade
which Tehran wants to increase further.

Krishna, who is on a four-day visit to Iran, later
visited Tehran`s only gurudwara and met representatives of
people of Indian origin in the country.

The gurudwara, only the second in the Islamic nation,
also doubles up to host community events like National Day
celebrations. Adjacent to the gurudwara is a Kendriya
Vidyalaya run by the Indian Embassy in Iran.

Local Sikh community, which had 80-100 families in
Tehran, requested the External Affairs Minister to consider
granting PIO cards to people of Indian origin who have now
become natural citizen of Iran so as to aid them in their
visits India.

"We will pursue it from our end in Delhi," Krishna
assured the leaders.

PTI