Terrorism tops Modi’s agenda in Iran; two countries sign 12 pacts, to share intelligence

Written by | May 24, 2016 | 0

New Delhi: From focusing on immediate neighbourhood to the Look-East policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the last leg of his second year in office, has shifted his diplomatic activism towards the Persian Gulf – an extended neighbourhood.

On Monday, Modi, on a significant trip to Iran, addressed a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He said the two countries would jointly combat terror, radicalism and cyber crime and the two sides signed 12 agreements, including a “milestone” pact on developing the key Chabahar port to provide India access to Central Asia and Afghanistan, circumventing Pakistan.

Modi’s visit to Iran comes after his visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia and ahead of trips to Qatar, Israel and Palestine. The visit coincides with the flux in West Asia, the rise of the IS and the fierce rivalry between Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel.

Both sides agreed to share intelligence in a bid to fight terrorism that is “rife and rampant” in the region. Both countries, in the past, had agreed to back Northern Alliance in Afghanistan to combat the Taliban. “India and Iran share a crucial stake in peace, stability and prosperity in the region. We also have shared concerns over the spread of forces of instability, radicalism and terror in our region,” Modi said after bilateral and delegation-level talks with the Iranian leadership.

“Due to the importance of stability and security in the region, especially in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen…because a big problem of terrorism was running rife and rampant in the region, the two countries discussed about political issues and have agreed to cooperate on intelligence- sharing,” Rouhani said.

The two countries also decided to enhance interaction between their defence and security institutions on regional and maritime security. Iran’s intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi recently claimed having dismantled more than 20 terror groups planning terrorist activities inside the country during the last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 19).

Filed in: National

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