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The Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Iran "The New Delhi Declaration"

January 25, 2003

Vision of a strategic Partnership for a more stable, secure and prosperous region and for enhanced regional and global cooperation

The Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Iran:

Conscious of the vast potential in the political, economic, transit, transport, energy, industries, science and technology and agricultural fields and of the benefits of cooperative endeavour,

Determined to build a strong, modern, contemporary and cooperative relationship that draws upon their historical and age-old cultural ties,the advantage ofgeographical proximity, and that responds to the needs of an inter-dependent world of the 21st Century,

Aware that their strengthened bilateral relations also contribute to regional cooperation, peace, prosperity and stability,

Recalling and reaffirming the Tehran Declaration issued on April 10, 2001 jointly by H.E. Shri A.B. Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India and H.E.Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republicof Iran, which resulted in further strengthening of dialogue aimed at strategic cooperation.

Declare as follows:

  • International developments since the adoption of the Tehran Declaration have reinforced their faith in and reconfirmed the values of pluralism,diversity and tolerance within and between societies.
  • International peace and stability, harmony between different religions,ethnic and linguistic groups, cultures and social systems can best be promoted through dialogue and acceptance of the right to ones' own beliefs and values expressed and exercised without injury or slight to those of others and without a desire to impose them on others. In this context, they positively assessed the contribution made by the concept of Dialogue Among Civilizations to address discord and differences in international relations.
  • They evaluate positively the consolidation of Indo-Iranian bilateral relations since the Tehran Declaration. Meetings of the Joint Commission, the Strategic Dialogue, interaction between the Security Councils of the two countries, discussions on energy and security, and cooperation based on existing complementarities and diverse possibilities, including supplies, exploration, investment, exchange of technical expertise, and other interaction at government and private sector levels have all contributed to deepening of mutual understanding and confidence, which has provided, in turn, the basis for further consolidation.
  • The two sides welcome the fresh impetus given to Science and Technology cooperation as also to cooperation in education and training since last year. They also note the potential of technologies, such as IT, to improve the lives of people in developing societies and agree to promote cooperation efforts to exploit this potential. They agree to promote fuller utilization of available capabilities for human resource development.
  • The two sides affirm that their growing strategic convergence needs to be underpinned with a strong economic relationship, including greater trade and investment flows. The Ministerial-level Joint Commission, the Joint Business Council and economic and commercial agreements signed recently in this regard will play a critical role in this regard. They exhort the entrepreneurs in both countries to harness each other's strengths for mutual benefit and promote the process of economic rapprochement actively, including through expert studies on trade and investment facilitation, holding of exhibitions and seminars, promotion of business travel, and joint ventures.
  • They note that the enabling legislations to promote vigorous trade and economic exchanges are primary requirements to promote business confidence between the entrepreneurs of the two countries. Many arrangements have already been concluded in this field. To consolidate the bilateral business environment further, they agree on the need to undertake expeditious negotiations, inter alia, for the conclusion of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and MoU on Energy Cooperation.
  • India and Iran have a complementarity of interests in the energy sector which should develop as a strategic area of their future relationship. Iran with its abundant energy resources and India with its growing energy needs as a rapidly developing economy are natural partners. The areas of cooperation in this sector include investment in upstream and downstream activities in the oil sector, LNG/natural gas tie-ups and secure modes of transport.
  • They also decided to explore opportunities for cooperation in defence in agreed areas, including training and exchange of visits.
  • They agreed to explore mechanisms to preserve and maintain the common cultural heritage, rooted in history, of the two countries. As part of efforts dedicated to preservation of this heritage, they agreed to release a commemorative postage stamp.
  • Terrorism continues to pose serious a threat to nation States and international peace and security and should be eradicated. States that aid, abet and directly support international terrorism should be condemned. The international community should intensify its efforts to combat the menace of terrorism. They reiterate their resolve to strengthen the international consensus and legal regimes against terrorism, including early finalization of a Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism. They agree that the combat against international terrorism should not be selective or based on double standards. Iran and India agree to continue joint cooperation to address the issues of international terrorism and trafficking in narcotic and psychotropic substances.
  • Both sides stressed that the interests of peace and stability in the region are best served by a strong, united, prosperous and independent Afghanistan. They assess highly the past and continuing cooperation between India and Iran in support of a united, sovereign and independent Afghanistan. They urge the international community to remain committed on long-term basis to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan, to controlling re-emergence of terrorist forces, and spread of narcotics from Afghanistan. They agree that stability of Afghanistan is vital for the stability of the region. The recent trilateral agreement between the Governments of India, Iran and Afghanistan to develop the Chahbahar route through Melak, Zaranj and Delaram would facilitate regional trade and transit, including to Afghanistan and Central Asia, contributing thus to enhanced regional economic prosperity.
  • The two sides note with satisfaction the operationalisation of the North South transit arrangement and the growing interest among other States in the region to participate in it. They reaffirm their commitment to develop the full potential of the North South arrangement, its infrastructure, desired certification and customs harmonization, expert studies and regular evaluation to aid its growth.
  • India and Iran support efforts to resolve the situation relating to Iraq peacefully through political and diplomatic means under the auspices of the United Nations.
  • The two sides reiterated their commitment to commence multi-lateral negotiations for nuclear disarmament under effective international control. They expressed their concern about restrictions imposed on the export of materials, technology and equipment to developing countries and acknowledged the right of these countries to research, production and use of technology, material and equipment for peaceful purposes.
  • The two countries are resolved to exploit the full potential of the bilateral relationship in the interest of the people of the two countries and of regional peace and stability, and recognizing that the 21st Century holds unbound promises of welfare and progress through peaceful application of science and technology, promoting knowledge based societies, and tackling fundamental problems such as disease, hunger and environmental degradation.
  • They directed that a time bound framework be worked out in agreed areas of cooperation, through the existing mechanisms of Joint Commission and Joint Working Groups, so that a firm and substantial economic and political underpinning would be provided for a strategic and long-term orientation to the bilateral relationship.

Signed on the 25th Day of January 2003 at New Delhi in two originals, each in Hindi, Persian and English languages.

Prime Minister Republic of India
President Islamic Republic of Iran

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