(Photo Credit: NewsOnAir)
On 8 June, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrived to the Indian capital New Delhi to lay out a long-term roadmap for comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.
Amir-Abdollahian travelled at the invitation of his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
The two foreign ministers signed a judicial cooperation agreement in civil and commercial affairs following the bilateral negotiations.
Amir-Abdollahian is set to hold talks with senior officials, religious scholars, local figures, and potential business partners. His itinerary also includes visits to Hyderabad and Mumbai.
“Relations between Tehran and New Delhi are at a very good level. We are witnessing growth and development of comprehensive relations, including in the economic and cultural fields, and exchange of delegations between the two countries, ever since the new administration took office,” the top diplomat of the Islamic Republic told reporters.
Amir-Abdollahian said he will also have meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval.
“Foreign Minister of Iran, Dr Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrives to a warm welcome in India. The visit will further boost our deep historical ties and partnership,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
During the talks, Amir-Abdollahian addressed recent controversial and insulting remarks made by an Indian official about the Prophet Muhammad, noting that Muslims cannot accept the desecration of the Prophet of Islam in any way.
Nupur Sharma, spokesperson for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was suspended on 5 June following sacrilegious comments he made against Prophet Muhammad during a television debate.
The BJP issued a statement saying: “During the thousands of years in the history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insults of any religious personalities of any religion.”
Earlier this year, Iran’s ambassador to India, Dr Ali Chegeni, said that the Islamic Republic is ready to meet India’s energy requirements.
Iran was India’s second largest oil supplier before the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018 and the re-imposition of US sanctions.