0710 GMT February 16, 2019
Although Iran will face certain challenges as a result of Washington’s pullout from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the reimposition of US sanctions, the country will undoubtedly come out of this difficult situation.
“I, at a personal level, do not have any doubt that Iran will come out of this difficult situation thanks to its resilience, innovativeness and talented population,” Indian Ambassador to Iran Saurabh Kumar told Iran Daily.
He made the remarks on the sidelines a ceremony in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday to celebrate the 71st anniversary of India’s Independence Day.
Independence Day is celebrated annually on August 15 as a national holiday in India, commemorating the nation's independence from the UK on August 15, 1947.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, signed between Iran and P5+1 in July 2015.
Iran is a very ancient civilization which has seen many ups and downs throughout the history, Kumar said.
Commenting on relations between New Delhi and Tehran in the wake of US sanctions, the ambassador noted that Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V. K. Singh has very clearly articulated the country’s policy which is that India does not accept unilateral sanctions.
He added Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif was in India two months ago and held very good talks with Indian officials.
“At the same time, we know that there would be difficulties [in trade and cooperation with Iran] as the nature of the sanctions being there, particularly banking ones, is such that they pose problems to bilateral business transactions.
“We, nevertheless, are in touch with our Iranian friends and will try and see how best to work under the given circumstances to be able to continue with our interactions, dealings and relationship in different sectors and fields including the oil industry and development of Chabahar Port [in southeast Iran].
“We would together see how best to overcome the difficulties.”
Commenting on the occasion, Kumar said the 72nd Independence Day is very important for India as the country is heading into its 75th Independence Day which will happen three years hence.
He added the Indian government is targeting initiatives and projects which will raise the standards of living of the people of India.
“Then [in less than 30 years] we will reach the 100th year of the Indian Independence.”
On the address by Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind to the nation on the eve of India’s 72nd Independence Day, he said the president’s major message was that a lot of projects and initiatives have been launched by the Indian government and that the country is at a very important juncture in which these initiatives would lead to better prosperity and wellbeing as far as the Indian people are concerned.
Kumar added this anniversary of Independence Day of India is also important and holds a special significance as on October 2 this year “we will start celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi”.
“The Indian president’s address devoted itself considerably to Gandhi and his philosophy and how India and, globally, people have benefited [from it] and how his philosophy and thoughts are still relevant in the world today.”
In his Independence Day speech on Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that, in 2022, on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day, “India will unfurl the tri-color in the space.”
Commenting on this, Kumar said the prime minister said this will happen in 2022, but it could take place earlier also.
“India’s incumbent government is giving a lot of importance to our space program,” he said, expressing optimism that as the Indian prime minister said the South Asian state would be the fourth country to have a man in space.
During the function, Ambassador Kumar read out the Indian president’s address on India’s 72nd Independence Day.
It read: “For every Indian, whether living at home or anywhere else in the world, August 15 is sacred. It is marked on our calendars as a celebration of our sovereignty.”
He added in his address it is a day to look back with satisfaction and gratitude for what we have been able to achieve due to the efforts of successive generation of our elders.
“And it is a day to renew our resolve to fill the gaps that still remain in our nation building project — gaps that our talented young people will no doubt fill.”