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Political Section


Iran - India historical relations

 as seen by the great personalities of the two countries


"Among the many peoples and races who have come in contact with and influenced Indias life and culture, the oldest and most persistent have been the Iranians. indeed the relationship precedes even the beginnings of Indo-Aryan civilization, for it was out of some common stock that the Indo-Aryans and the ancient Iranians diverged and took their different ways".

 "The Persian language, like French in Europe, became the language of cultured people across wide stretches of Asia. Iranian art and culture spread from Constantinople in the west right up to the edge of the Gobi Desert. In India this Iranian influence was continuous, and during the Afghan and Moghul periods, Persian was the court language of the country. This lasted right up to the beginning of the British period. All the modern Indian languages are full of Persian words".

 "Few people have been more closely related in origion and throughout history than the people of India nad the people of Iran".

 Jawaharlal Nehru, Discovery of India


"I used to dream of a Persia where bulbuls made love to the roses, where in dreamland gardens poets sat around their wine cups and invoked visions of ineffable meanings. But now that I have come to your country my dream has been formed into a concrete image that finds its permanent place in the inner chamber of my experience ... I have visited Sadis tomb; I have sat beside the resting place of Hafiz and intimately felt his touch in the glimmering green of your woodlands, in blossoming roses. The past age of Persia lent the old world perfume of its own sunny hours of spring to the morning of that day and the silent voice of your ancient poet filled the silence in the heart of the poet of Modern India".


Rabindranath Tagore, 09


Political Relations:    


India-Iran relations span centuries marked by meaningful interactions. The two countries shared a border till 1947 and share several common features in their language, culture and traditions. Both South Asia and the Persian Gulf have strong commercial, energy, cultural and people-to-people links. 

 Independent India and Iran established diplomatic links on 15 March 1950. In addition to the Embassy in Tehran, India currently has two Consulates in Iran -Bandar Abbas and Zahedan. The Shah visited India in February/March 1956 and Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited Iran in September 1959. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi visited Iran in April 1974 and Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai visited in June 1977. The Shah, in turn, visited India in February 1978. 

 The Iranian Revolution in 1979 introduced a new phase of engagement between India and Iran marked by exchange of high level visits of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narasimha Rao in September 1993, Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in April 1995 and Indian Vice President Shri K. R. Narayanan in October 1996. The trend was consolidated and enhanced at the turn of the millennium with visits by Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2001 and a return visit by President Mohammad Khatami in 2003, when he was also the Chief Guest at the Republic Day function. The Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited India on 29 April 2008. 

 The two countries have in place several bilateral consultative mechanisms at various levels which meet regularly. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki led a high-level delegation to India in November 2009. External Affairs Minister Shri S.M. Krishna visited Tehran in May 2010 to attend the 14th G-15 Summit. He called on President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Majlis Speaker Dr. Ali Larijani and met Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. In November 2010, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr. D. Purandeswari visited Tehran to attend the 9th Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial meeting. In March 2011, Shri Gulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare visited Iran to represent Prime Minister of India at the Second World Nowruz Festival held in Tehran. During his visit, Shri Azad called on President Ahmadinejad. On the sidelines of the celebrations, he met Vice President Hamid Baghai, Foreign Minister Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, Energy Minister Majid Namjoo and Heads of delegations from other countries. 

 On 26 September 2011 Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee met Iranian Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Dr Shamseddin Hossein on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met President Ahmadinejad on September 23, 2011 on the sidelines of UNGA in New York.In October 2011 Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water resources Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal visited Tehran to participate at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the International Executive Committee (IEC) and 21st ICID congress on Irrigation and drainage.  In March 2012 Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah visited Iran on the invitation of Minister of Energy Dr. Namjoo. He was accompanied by a business delegation.  Minister Dr. Namjoo has been invited to visit India.

 In November 2011 Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha Smt. Meira Kumar paid an official visit to Iran leading a multi-party Parliamentary delegation on the invitation of Majlis Speaker Dr. Ali Larijani. She inaugurated a tableau of Gurudev Rabindranath’s poem on Iran in the Majlis museum and a bust of Acharya J. C. Bose at Pardis Technology Park near Tehran. She also called on President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Speaker of Majlis Dr. Larijani has been invited to visit India. 

 India and Iran hold regular security consultations at the level of National Security Adviser/Secretary of Supreme National Security Council.  The National Security Advisor Shri S. Menon visited Iran in March 2011 and called on  President Ahmadinejad, Foreign Minister Dr. Salehi, Speaker Larijani and held meeting with his counterpart Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Dr. Jalili. Dr. Ali Bagheri, Deputy to the Secretary, Supreme National Security Council visited India in June 2011. Deputy National Security Advisor Ms. Latha Reddy visited Iran in March 2012 and held discussions with her counterpart Dr. Ali Bagheri. She called on the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Dr. Jalili and Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Araghchi.

 Foreign Offices of both countries also hold regular consultations on bilateral and regional issues. Foreign Secretary of India Smt. Nirupama Rao visited Tehran in July 2011 for the 9th round of Foreign Office Consultations at the invitation of her counterpart, Dr. Mohammad Ali Fathollahi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia & Oceania Affairs. Besides holding the Foreign Office Consultations, she called on Foreign Minister Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Dr. Saeed Jalili. During the meetings views were exchanged on combating global terrorism, energy security, North South Transport Corridor, developments in Afghanistan and regional security and stability.  During the visit, both sides exchanged the Instrument of Ratification for the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners signed in July 2010 thereby operationalizing the Agreement. Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Aragchi has been invited to visit India for the next round of Foreign Office Consultations.

 From the Iranian side Senior Advisor to Supreme Leader on International Affairs and Former Foreign Minister Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati visited India in December 2011. He called on Vice President and Prime Minister of India. 

 Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Akhoundzadeh visited India to participate in the 11th IOR-ARC Council of Ministers meeting in November 2011. Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi visited India on May 31 – June 01, 2012 and called on Hon’ble Prime Minister and met External Affairs Minister Shri S.M. Krishna. He handed over letter from President Ahmadinejad inviting Hon’ble Prime Minister to attend the NAM Summit 2012 scheduled to be held in Tehran from 26-31 August 2012. Prime Minister has accepted the invitation. 




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