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'No training for Iranian Navy' in India

The Foreign Secretary termed the reports of an Iranian ship completing a training programme as "misleading".

india Updated: Apr 01, 2006 13:07 IST

India has rejected as "completely misplaced and misleading" reports that it was providing training to Iranian Navy.

Visiting Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran has personally pointed this out to a senior US lawmaker that his apprehensions to this effect were "completely misplaced".

Saran met House International Relations Committee ranking Democrat Tom Lantos on Thursday.

Saran pointed out to the US lawmaker that reports of an Iranian ship completing a training programme in India were "misleading" as it was on a "courtesy visit".

"The concern expressed there was about a ship visit to one of the southern Indian ports and somehow somebody has given the impression that India has engaged in training the Iranian Navy or there were some joint exercises, which is completely misleading," the Foreign Secretary said.

"This is one of the several courtesy visits which takes place from countries all over the world. This was an Iranian naval training ship, which made a port call which is a very normal activity. So I pointed out to Mr Lantos that such apprehensions were completely misplaced," Saran added.

In the meeting with Saran, Lantos had raised the issue stressing "misunderstandings and conflicts" could undermine support for the nuclear deal currently before Congress.

"At a time when gestures from allies are significant.. He (Lantos) urges the Indian government to find gestures that will underscore the depth and breadth of India's friendship with the United States; and to be conscious of .. Situations where like possible training of Iranian troops could be a residual effect on how members of Congress and the US public view those relations," Lynne Weil, his spokeswoman had said.

Saran denied that energy links with Iran were discussed during his visit here. "No. They never came up in the discussions I had".