New York, Sep 26: On a day Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on the sidelines of UNGA, Mr Rouhani on Thursday challenged countries including the US for accusing Iran of carrying out the attack on Saudia Arabian oil facility to provide evidence.
"Those who make the allegations must provide the needed proof. What is the evidence?" Iranian President said here. France, Germany and Britain besides the United States have targeted Iran for the strikes on the kingdom's Abqaiq plant and the Khurais oil field which knocked out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production.
Amid US-Iran stand off, Prime Minister Modi on Thursday reiterated India's support for giving priority to "diplomacy, dialogue and confidence building" in the interest of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Gulf region - which he said is of vital importance for New Delhi.
A statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani in here on the sidelines of the High Level Segment of the 74th Session of UNGA said that both sides discussed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and global developments of mutual interest.
''Historical and civilizational linkages. PM Narendra Modi met with President of Iran Hassan Rouhani at UNGA. Discussed bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on the situation in the region,'' tweeted MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. India has always given emphasis to its ties with Iran. Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale has led the Indian delegation for Foreign Office Consultations.On November 5, 2018, the United States re-imposed the tough 'sanctions' on Iran that were waived under a special law.
On September 5, during his visit to Vladivostok in Russia, Mr Modi had affirmed that New Delhi has been depending on Iran for fuel and energy security but in view of changing developments, all precautionary steps had been taken to ensure safety and security of Indian tankers.
New Delhi was forced to turn to other sources than Iran for energy after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Tehran's oil exports.
The six-month-long exemptions from US sanctions to India and seven other countries to buy oil from Iran expired in May. In general sense Indo-Iran ties have been on an upswing with Mr Modi visiting Tehran in May 2016. In February 2018, President Rouhani visited India, becoming the first Iranian President to do so.
"Noting that India and Iran shared old and civilisational ties, the two leaders positively assessed the progress in bilateral relations since their first meeting at Ufa in 2015. They especially mentioned operationalisation of Chabahar Port and noted its importance as gateway to and for the landlocked Afghanistan and the Central Asian region," an MEA statement said. (UNI)