Israel presses India on Iran threat

Rivlin quoted Modi as saying India has good relations with Iran, but supports Israel “every place where international agencies take decisions against you that you see as absurd."

November 20, 2016 06:02
2 minute read.
President Rivlin meets Prime Minister Modi of India

President Reuven Rivlin meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)

NEW DELHI — President Reuven Rivlin said he had emphasized to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the conduct of Iran, explaining Israel’s concerns with its actions in the region and Tehran's stated goal of destroying the Jewish state.

Rivlin quoted Modi as saying India has good relations with Iran, but supports Israel “every place where international agencies take decisions against you that you see as absurd.”

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Rivlin told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday night about his meeting with Modi on Wednesday and said that the Indian prime minister was very clear that his country opposes Iranian moves to harm Israel.

What is significant here, Rivlin said, is the very public way that India is displaying its strong relationship with Israel, including the very warm welcome it has given to the Israeli delegation and its desire to strengthen those ties.
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This included the public hug Modi gave him, when the two held their joint press conference.

“India is not hiding its ties with Israel,” Rivlin said adding, “They see us as their partner.”

For India, Israel is a country that faces similar challenges and is open to its needs, Rivlin said. Both countries bring mutually beneficial assets to the table, he said, includes in defense and agriculture.

When it comes to defense, India also has business ties with both the United States and with Russia, Rivlin explained.

In some cases, he said, there are also projects between India, the United States and Israel, Rivlin said.

“Today the know how is the most important thing. Modi sees an opportunity in the world’s desire to be part of the economic life of his country,” he said.

“It’s a bomb what is happening here,” he added.

“He wants his people to be able to work so they can improve their life,” he said.

Israel, he said, is open to the concept of “making in India” as well as “making with India.”

Rivlin arrived in India on Monday with a large business delegation to as part of a series of steps both countries are taking to mark 25 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

On Friday Rivlin visited an agricultural Center of Excellence in the city of Karnal in the Haryana region that is run by MASHAV, Israel’s Foreign Ministry international development and cooperation agency.

Haryana region’s agriculture minister, Om Prakash Dhankar, led Rivlin through the center and unveiled a plaque in his honor. The two men also planted trees outside one of the hothouses.

Inside the hothouse, he was shown cherry tomato plants, which were developed in Israel.

“We are bringing Israel’s name halfway around the world to help people, not just countries and nations,” Rilvlin said.

“MASHAV benefits all mankind and enhances Israel's name, as Gandhi said, ‘God appears to the hungry as food.’” Rivlin said.

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