Tehran, YJC. Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani is scheduled to pay an official visit to India to explore new avenues for the expansion of bilateral ties, particularly in the area of parliamentary cooperation.
Hossein Sheikholeslam, Majlis director general for international affairs, said on Tuesday that Larijani will hold talks with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and a number of other senior officials.
He added that the four-day visit, which will begin on February 24, comes at the invitation of Meira Kumar, the speaker of the lower house of the Indian parliament.
In a meeting with the Indian ambassador to Iran on February 5, Larijani underlined the need for the enhancement of bilateral relations and cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi in various areas.
He emphasized the leading roles of the two countries in international arenas, saying Majlis is keen to increase parliamentary ties with India.
Ambassador Shri D.P. Srivastava described talks on regional issues between Iranian and Indian officials as constructive, and said Larijani's upcoming visit to India would be an important step toward the expansion of friendly relations between the two countries.
Iran- India Relations
Relations between India and Iran date back to the Neolithic period. The existence of several empires spanning both Persia and northern India ensured the constant migration of people between the two regions and the spread and evolution of the Indo-Iranian language groups. As a consequence, the people of Northern India and Iran share significant cultural, linguistic and ethnic characteristics.
During much of the Cold War period, relations between the Republic of India and the erstwhile Imperial State of Iran suffered due to different political interests—non-aligned India fostered strong military links with the Soviet Union while Iran enjoyed close ties with the United States. Following the 1979 revolution, relations between Iran and India strengthened.
Two countries share some common strategic interests. Despite the decline in strategic and military links, the two nations continue to maintain strong cultural and economic ties.
Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, India, continues to be a major center of Shiite culture and Persian study in South Asia. Iran is the second largest supplier of crude oil to India, supplying more than 425,000 barrels of oil per day, and consequently India is one of the largest foreign investors in Iran's oil and gas industry.