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Narendra Modi in Iran: PM invokes India's 'civilisational ties', aims to boost economic, cultural partnership

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that Indians living abroad have the capability to assimilate with everyone.

Narendra Modi in Iran: PM invokes India's 'civilisational ties', aims to boost economic, cultural partnership
Pic courtesy: @MEAIndia

Tehran: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived here on Sunday on a two-day visit to Iran, said that Indians living abroad have the capability to assimilate with everyone.

Invoking India's 'civilisational ties' with Iran, PM Modi also said that his talks with the Iranian leadership would provide him an opportunity to advance the 'strategic partnership' between the two countries.

PM Modi was received at the Mehrabad International Airport by Iran's Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia and was accorded a red carpet welcome.

Soon after his arrival, the PM left for the capital city's only functioning Gurudwara and offered prayers.

"We Indians have a specialty. We accept everyone and assimilate with everyone," PM Modi said while addressing a community gathering at the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha Gurudwara.

"The new generation should know about the sacrifices of the great (Sikh) Gurus and about the Guru Granth Sahib," he added.

He also said that he has noted several suggestions that have emanated from the Indian community in Iran.

"Let us all work together to serve humanity," the PM said.

In 2012, the then PM Manmohan Singh on a visit here to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit could not visit the Gurudwara, but his wife Gursharan Kaur had paid her respects there.

According to the Indian embassy here, the Indian community in Iran, which was sizeable earlier, has dwindled and now consists of about 100 families in Tehran and about 20 in Zahedan, as per IANS.

There are also around 1,300 Indian students in Iran, a large number of whom pursue theological studies in Qom.

PM Modi's formal talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled for tomorrow morning after a ceremonial welcome for him. Rouhani will also host a lunch for the Indian Premier.

He will also call on Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei before his return home.

PM Modi's visit is expected to see India and the Persian Gulf nation working on enhancing economic partnership that includes a possible deal on developing the strategic Chabahar port.

PM Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to travel to Iran in 15 years on a bilateral visit after Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Before he embarked on his trip, the PM had tweeted:

Earlier, he had told Iran's IRNA news agency that "India and Iran have always focused to add strength to our relations, even during the difficult times. In the current context, both countries can look to expand our cooperation in the fields of trade, technology, investment and infrastructure and energy security," as per PTI.

"Lifting of the international sanctions against Iran has opened up immense opportunities for both the countries, especially in the economic sphere," PM Modi had said, adding that India was keen to enhance its investment in the Persian Gulf nation and also welcomes flow of capital and investments from the oil-rich nation.

Expressing satisfaction over the progress made so far on the participation of India in development of the Iranian port of Chabahar, he had added, "I am happy that a progress has been made on Chabahar Port and also on wider connectivity initiative involving Chabahar. Our public and private sectors are keen to invest in Iran. At the same time, we would also welcome the flow of capital and investments from Iran."

(With Agency inputs)