Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will leave for Iran on August 28, 2012 to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, which will be preceded by crucial bilateral talks with Iran’s supreme leader Ayotollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A host of meetings with the leaders of other NAM countries, including Pakistan, is also likely to take place on the sidelines of the 16th Summit of the 120-nation grouping, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said on Saturday while briefing reporters in New Delhi on Prime Minister’s four-day Iran visit.

Dr. Singh’s bilateral meeting with Iranian leadership take place at a time when the U.S. is pushing India to reduce engagement with Iran and implement sanctions imposed by some countries over its controversial nuclear programme.

“We had indeed proposed to schedule a meeting with Mr. Khamenei. During the meeting the Prime Minister will raise all issues for India-Iran bilateral relations and issues of interest and concern to us.

“Peace and security is, indeed, our primary concern given just how important the entire West Asia region, Gulf region, in particular, is for India’s security and for Indian economy, both in terms of oil imports and our exports. So, this is our own concern and we don’t have to take anybody else’s concern as priority,” he said.

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