Interaction with Delegation from the Institute of Political and International Studies IPIS, Iran
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On November 11, 2022, the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) had a discussion with a visiting delegation from Iran's Institute of Political and International Studies (IPIS). Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF, delivered the introductory remarks, which were followed by a presentation by Amb DB Venkatesh Varma, Distinguished Fellow, VIF. Other VIF experts who participated in this discussion were Amb D P Srivastava, Lt Gen Ravi Sawhney, Amb Pankaj Saran, Amb Sanjay Singh, and Amb Skanbd Tayal, Dr. Mohammad Hassan Sheikholeslami, President of IPIS, lead the Iranian delegation. The delegation also comprised Hussein Molla Abdollahi, Senior Research Fellow, IPIS; Ali Asghar Moghari, Expert at Third Department (India Desk), the Subcontinent Division, MOFA, Iran; Hossein Ebrahim Khani, Research Fellow; H. E. Mr. Iraj Elahi, the Iranian Ambassador to India, was also present.

The discussion focussed on bilateral relations between India and Iran, as well as the consequences of a changing regional environment for these nations. Developments in Afghanistan, the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict have ramifications for India and Iran. So there is a need for dialogue and discussion between India and Iran about how to minimise the impact of these crises on them. The participants of the discussion noted that despite the rapidly changing regional and international landscape, both India and Iran continue to have close relations. Both sides agreed that economic sanctions should not be used as a weapon since they have far-reaching consequences not only for the country on which they are imposed but also for others.

Iran has joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a permanent member, thereby broadening the scope of this Eurasian regional alliance to include West Asia. Iran is also important for India's connectivity with Central Asia. The importance of Chabahar and INSTC cannot be underestimated. However, there is a need to raise awareness about these initiatives among business entities, and related issues must be addressed. Some concerns that must be addressed quickly to make Chabahar more successful are banking facilities, insurance, and a lack of regular shipping lines.

Both India and Iran have advocated for an inclusive government in Afghanistan that includes equal representation for women and minorities since the Taliban seized power in August 2021. The Iranian side praised India for delivering humanitarian aid to the Afghani people. Both sides have agreed that India and Iran's relations have the potential to go beyond their current status, and there is a need for concerted efforts from both sides to raise the level of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Event Date 
November 11, 2022

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