HYDERABAD: India and Iran have a 700-year-old cultural relationship and parallels could be drawn between their nuclear programmes too, according to Mahmoud Safari, Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who believes that similarities between the two countries are undeniable. “We are willing to learn from India, an old and respected culture on a par with Iran,” he said.
The Consul General, who attended the inaugural of the 12th International Conference on Science and Technology Impact on Development and Justice at the Moulana Azad National Urdu University here, also touched upon the unfolding crisis vis-a-vis his government’s nuclear programme. “We do not intend to build weapons of mass destruction as alleged by the US and Europe. The nuclear programme of Iran is being developed for peaceful purposes and we stand with India on this,” said the Consul General who was critical of interference by the US.
“Sanctions are nothing new as we have had a history of similar sanctions being imposed on us with malice,” said Mahmoud Safari on the possibility of tough sanctions against the country.
The Consul General in Hyderabad also highlighted the fact that Iran is a power to reckon with in the field of science and technology, especially biotechnology, nanotechnology, nuclear technology and aerospace engineering among others. “The education system in Iran has been strengthened after the regime of Shah ended and there are around 2,74,000 medical and higher education institutes in Iran today and India hosts a 10,000-strong Iranian student population,” he said.
The recent decision of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) on payment of oil imports from Iran will not affect the trade balance between the countries, said the president of Friends of Iran Society of Hyderabad, Dr. Prabhakar Reddy. The import of petrochemicals contributes to two-thirds of the trade balance between the two countries at around $10 billion.
It is likely to continue, with Iran looking at exporting more pharmaceuticals and agri-products, said the Consul General. The two-day conference at MANUU, which ended on Wednesday, had parallel sessions and poster presentation on aspects of english language and literature, education, management, economics, biotechnology, chemistry, engineering stream and medical sciences.