Regional security issues and the situation in Afghanistan figured prominently during talks between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Iranian counterpart Brig Gen Amir Hatami in Tehran, the Defence Ministry said today.

Singh made a transit halt in the Iranian capital yesterday on his way back home from Russia where he attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers’ meeting.

“Had a very fruitful meeting with Iranian defence minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami in Tehran. We discussed regional security issues including Afghanistan and the issues of bilateral cooperation,” he tweeted this morning.

The meeting between the two ministers took place in a cordial and warm atmosphere. They emphasised the age-old cultural, linguistic and civilisational ties between India and Iran.

The two ministers discussed ways to take forward bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional security issues, including peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The defence minister’s visit to Tehran came a day after he expressed concern over the situation in the Persian Gulf and called upon countries in the region to resolve differences through dialogue based on mutual respect and sovereignty.

Singh is the first top Indian official to travel Iran since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.