New Delhi: Iran’s new Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian is expected to visit India later this month as the Taliban’s interim government moves to Afghanistan. Iran will also pressure India to resume oil purchases, ThePrint has learned.
The visit will come days after Minister Amirabdollahian had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, having succeeded Javad Zarif as Iranian Foreign Minister. Amirabdollahian was Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs between 2011 and 2016. After taking office as Iranian Foreign Minister, he met his counterparts from Pakistan and Qatar, among others.
Iran, outside of China and Pakistan, has also played a crucial role in Afghanistan, although it has tacitly supported the return of the Taliban and the ousting of US and NATO forces there.
Like India, Iran has also expressed concerns about the Taliban’s new interim government and said it lacks inclusiveness. During the 2 + 2 Ministerial Dialogue between India and Australia last week, Foreign Minister Jaishankar expressed similar concerns.
During the phone call between Amirabdollahian and Jaishankar, India asked for Iran’s help in facilitating evacuation flights from Afghanistan.
Iran was also part of a regional conference that was held virtually on September 8, a day after the Taliban announced their new interim government. The meeting was also attended by China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
In this forum, Amirabdollahian had declared that Tehran supported “intra-Afghan talks and agreements”.
Practically met the FMs of 6 neighbors of Afghanistan.
Emphasizes security, stability and development through the formation of an inclusive government reflecting the diversity and will of the Afghan people; dialogue instead of violence; rejection of foreign intervention.
We support intra-Afghan negotiations and agreements pic.twitter.com/6Ef2AJ3mqo
– H.Amirabdolahian امیرعبداللهیان (@Amirabdolahian) September 8, 2021
While India has maintained a dialogue with Taliban leaders in Doha, it has yet to speak to anyone who now runs the corridors of power in Afghanistan.
Read also : As Taliban Announce New ‘Interim’ Government, India, US, China, Iran Must Prepare For The Worst
Resumption of oil trade between India and Iran
Iran has been insisting that all parties return to the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), since the Joe Biden administration took power in the United States in January 2021.
Donald Trump’s previous administration withdrew from the JCPOA and imposed massive sanctions on Iran, leading India to also halt its oil purchases from Iran, which fell to zero in May. 2019. However, Iran now wants India to revise the policy and resume. purchases in order to build on the momentum of bilateral relations by leveraging its growing strategic ties with the Biden government.
Recently, Iran and India have communicated regularly on important bilateral issues. In July, Minister Jaishankar became the first foreign dignitary to meet radical Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after coming to power in the June elections.
In August, Jaishankar represented India at President Raisi’s swearing-in ceremony in Tehran, which highlighted the importance of bilateral relations between India and Iran.
Intelligence chiefs meeting in Pakistan minus India
Pakistani ISI chief Faiz Hameed held a meeting of all regional intelligence chiefs in Islamabad on Saturday, which was also attended by Iranian intelligence chief.
The meeting was held to discuss the stability of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the situation there, even as countries wait to see the war-torn nation operate normally and international flights resume.
(Edited by Shreyas Sharma)
Read also : On Kabul, India does not need to hurry. Let Russia, China and Iran see Pakistan’s control over the Taliban
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