NEW DELHI: India and Iran held the 15th round of Foreign Office consultations in New Delhi on Monday. While the Indian side was led by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, the Iranian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Dr Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, who also called on the Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar.
Sources said the discussions mostly revolved around ways to ensure that India’s energy needs were not hit. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and Iran’s second largest oil buyer after China. Araghchi’s visit comes days after India’s finance ministry approved the opening of a branch of Iran’s Bank Pasargad in Mumbai. “One must understand that our bilateral ties are not just energy/oil-centric, we have a long-standing geo-strategic relationship with Iran which spans diverse sectors,” said an official.