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Iran seeks India's support for nuclear programme

In a bid to garner support, Iranian Dy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari meets top officials in New Delhi. Express your views

india Updated: Aug 30, 2006 02:35 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

In a bid to garner Indian support for Tehran's "peaceful" nuclear programme, visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari on Tuesday met senior Indian officials, including Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and National Security adviser MK Narayanan.

"The nature of Iran's nuclear programme and response of Iranian government to reactions of the international community in light of recent developments were among the issues discussed during Safari's visit," an official said.

"The Iranian envoy tried to emphasise the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme which has earned the ire of large sections of the international community," the official added.

During the talks both sides expressed concern over the fate of the ambitious tri-nation natural gas pipeline project in the wake of the recent escalation of violence in the Pakistan province of Balochistan.

The proposed pipeline will bring gas from Iran to India via Pakistan where it will pass through Balochistan.

The visit of Safari, who came for a day, will be followed by that of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki next month.

India has said that it wants to strengthen its ties with Iran, despite New Delhi's vote against the country's nuclear programme at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meetings.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister had last visited New Delhi in February for a day for meetings with Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran. At that time, Safari's visit part of Tehran's effort to explain its point of view to New Delhi before the March meeting of the IAEA board of governors in Vienna.

First Published: Aug 29, 2006 23:17 IST