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Iran seeks strategic partnership with India

Iran seeks strategic partnership with India

New Delhi: Iran has said it looks forward to a strategic and long-term partnership with India and that talks in New Delhi over payment for Iranian oil had yielded "good results".

Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, during his meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee, said that his country "looks forward to a strategic and long-term partnership with India. India and Iran come from same roots and their destinies are the same. A large area of cooperation is possible between the two countries".

President Mukherjee, while welcoming the Iranian parliamentary delegation, said: "India and Iran have a strong bilateral economic relationship and it needs to further deepen for the benefit of peoples of both the countries."

"We must work together to promote trade and economic links and increased people-to-people contacts between us and within the region," he said.

The president added that the "excellent" bilateral relations between both the countries have been strengthened through high level exchanges and regular engagement through various dialogue mechanisms.

Iran remains an important source of crude for India and Indian markets are open to Iranian exports. India hopes that Iran would source more goods from the country, said Mukherjee.

Later, answering a question at a press conference on the issue of payment for Iranian crude following western sanctions, Larijani said Thursday: "There have been people in my delegation who have been talking to their Indian friends, and this has had good results."

However, he declined to reveal details of the talks.

On Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said: "It is important for Pakistan to have a secure Afghanistan and we have held talks with Pakistani politicians and it seems they have come to understand this, it is good."

To a question if he would be the next president of Iran, he smilingly said: "You seem to be in too much of a rush."

On the progress of nuclear talks, held in Kazakhstan between Iran and six global powers, the speaker of the Majlis said: "There is no secret dimension to Iran's nuclear programme, and it can be resolved through dialogue."

"Iran is not worried about sanctions," Larijani said, adding that Iran has "good capacity to resist... Iran has skilled manpower, from biotechnologists, nanotechnologists, IT, to experts in stem cells. A country with $1,000 billion can find its own solutions. We want to be self reliant..we will survive this."

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