Tehran: India and Iran today asked all states to “explicitly reject” the use of terrorism against other countries while seeking an immediate end to all support and sanctuaries being provided to terror groups.
The assertion by the two countries was made after wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with the two sides issuing a joint statement in which they vowed to deepen economic ties in areas of energy, infrastructure, connectivity and investment.
India and Iran, in their joint statement, “urged an immediate end to all support and sanctuaries enjoyed by terrorist groups and individuals and were of the view that states that aid, abet and directly or indirectly support terrorism should be condemned,” a reference that could be seen as directed at Pakistan.
“They (India and Iran) called upon all states to have zero tolerance towards terrorism, explicitly reject and stop the use of terrorism against other countries, dismantle terrorism infrastructure where it exists, end forthwith all support and financing to terrorists using their territories to harm other countries and ensure that all perpetrators of terrorism who are in their jurisdiction are brought to justice,” the statement said.
Noting with deep concern that terrorism and ideologies of violent extremism continue to infest and ingress the region posing a grave threat to peace, security, stability and development, the two sides stressed the need to completely eradicate all forms of terrorism and defeat the forces of extremism.
India and Iran also decided to step up their economic engagement as they agreed that development rights for the Farzad-B offshore gas field in the Persian Gulf will be awarded to ONGC Videsh Ltd by third quarter.
They agreed to strengthen the longstanding trade ties by “stepping up the momentum of economic engagement through early conclusion of a Preferential Trade Agreement, preferably within a year.”
Modi and Rouhani also directed that Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Bilateral Investment Treaty should be concluded before the end of the year.
India fully supported the accession of Iran to the World Trade Organization, the statement said.
The Indian side thanked the Iranian government for India’s ongoing participation and investment in the development of oil and gas sector in Iran.
OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), had in 2008 discovered 12.5 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in the Farsi block.
The discovery was later named Farzad-B but Iran is yet to award developmental rights of the field which is four-times the size of Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 field.