While maintaining that the U.S. and NATO have not truly committed themselves to fighting terrorism and extremists in the region, the president of the Strategic Research Center of Expediency Discernment Council stated: "Unfortunately, several countries in the region that have close relations with the U.S. support the Taliban and it seems very unlikely that the U.S. is oblivious to these relationships.”

According to the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) news agency, Doctor Hassan Rowhani, president of the Strategic Research Center of Expediency Discernment Council, announced yesterday in a meeting with Indian Ambassador Sanjay Singh at the ambassador's office, "I am hopeful that the presence of your Excellency, who is set to visit Iran soon, will greatly strengthen the relationship between our countries. Your report regarding the progress and development of India gratifies me; without a doubt India's development will impact the entire region."

The former director* of the Supreme National Security Council admonished, "One of Obama's first decisions was to transfer some U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. The presence of additional U.S. forces in the region can be cause for concern. They maintain that they are coming to the region in order to fight terrorism, but to date we have not witnessed any true fighting of terrorism by the Americans."

In the same vein, the representative** of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution in the Supreme National Security Council considered U.S meddling in Pakistan's affairs worrying and said, "America is pursuing long-term objectives in the region and one of them is the effective control of the countries in the region."

Explaining that his country's modern relations are relations with other countries based on the economy and other issues, Indian Ambassador Sanjay Singh also addressed the president of the Strategic Research Center of Expediency Discernment Council. He added, "India is now undergoing a process of change in terms of its economy. The governmental policies of India have brought about quick economic growth for the country over last four years. As a result, the country's economic growth has been at 8 percent per annum and I hope that this year we will achieve a growth rate of 7 percent in spite of the global economic slow-down."

The Indian ambassador highlighted the importance of the North-South axis in this context. He continued, "At this very moment, Iranian, Indian and Russian experts are holding talks over the third pillar of this axis. We are also taking initial steps to organize an important seminar in order to analyze the significance and utility of this axis as it will certainly help us open doors to Central Asia."

*Doctor Hassan Rowhani

** Doctor Hassan Rowhani