Interaction with Prof Syyed Mohd Kazem Sajjadpour, President, Iranian Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS)
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The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organized an interaction with Prof Syyed Mohd Kazem Sajjadpour, President of the Iranian Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), on 16 January 2018. He was accompanied by a senior-level delegation which included Amb Gholamreza Ansari (Ambassador of Iran to India) and Prof Sheikh-ul-Islam (Dean of School of International Studies, Tehran). From the VIF, discussions were led by the Director, Dr. Arvind Gupta. Amb Kanwal Sibal, Amb Rajeev Sikri, Shri C. D. Sahay, Amb Prabhat Shukla also took part in the discussion. Closing remarks were delivered by Amb D. P. Srivastava, former Indian ambassador to Iran.

Salient points that emerged from the Discussion are as follows:

Global Scenario

1. Contemporary world is in transition and there is rise of multiple actors. The emerging global system is more open and has created space for the regional players.
2. Multi-lateral institutions like the United Nations, which were created 70 years ago, need to undergo certain reforms to adjust with the existing global structures.
3. The United States’ (US) influence on the world is also undergoing certain changes. Their National Security Strategy and the cries of ‘America First’ reflect the deep thinking that is going on within the US, and also the nature of domestic environment.
4. The rise of China is a very significant development, which is going to impact the region and the world. Countries in the region, including India, are cautious about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Eurasian corridors that are being built by China and the Chinese military and maritime strategies.
5. The entire world is threatened because of the spread of radical ideology of the Daesh, and the potential threat of returning fighters. There is a need for greater international cooperation in terms of counter-terrorism.

India-Iran Bilateral Relations

1. India and Iran have developed a unique relationship that is independent of any external factors. These relations are rooted in the civilizational, historical and cultural interactions of thousands of years.
2. The relationship is based on mutual trust and the ‘real will’ of the two nations who think that they can shape a better region.
3. Nevertheless, India and Iran should engage more with each other, mainly because of the geopolitical compulsions shared by the two.
4. On the Iranian side, there is ample interest in expanding economic cooperation with India. However, there are certain challenges including problem of implementation. Iranian side feels that the relationship should be multi-dimensional, and economically diverse.
5. Chabahar Port is truly a game-changer, not only in the economic and political relations between India and Iran, but also for Indian engagements in Afghanistan and Central Asia. This is also likely to impact the situation in Afghanistan.
6. There is a need for greater people-to-people contacts and cultural and intellectual interactions between the two nations.

Event Date 
January 16, 2018
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