Giving bilateral ties a further boost, India and Iran signed six agreements and memorandums of understanding on Friday, the concluding day of the two-day 16th joint commission session. These include an agreement on air services and another on transfer of prisoners.
Significantly, Iran has also agreed to hold technical-level meeting over the issue of Chabahar port, which is strategically important for New Delhi. The port can serve as an entry point for India's outreach in both Afghanistan and Central Asia. The Iranians were earlier seen to be dragging their feet over the port's development.
The session was jointly chaired by foreign minister S M Krishna and Iran's minister of economic affairs Syed Shamsheddin Hosseini. The two sides agreed that the next session of the joint commission would be held in Tehran.
The air services agreement includes enhancement in the capacity entitlement for the designated airlines of each nation from 23 services per week to 31 per week. Two additional destinations in the respective countries have been agreed to and will be mutually decided later.
"The agreement has the potential to spur greater trade investment, tourism and strengthen cultural exchanges between the two countries besides bringing it in tune with the developments in the international civil aviation scenario," said a statement issued after the session.
MoUs have also been signed for cooperation in renewable energy, small scale industries and science and technology. Yet another MoU was signed for mutual ties between the Central Pulp and Paper Research Institute of India and Iran's Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources.
India had recently made a statement that it will not be dictated to by foreign powers on its ties with Iran.