India tries cheetah diplomacy on Iran
Financial Times / James Lamont

New Delhi has reached out to Tehran in south Asia’s equivalent of panda diplomacy, seeking the delivery of the speedier, and considerably less cuddly, cheetah.

The Indian government has contacted Iran to explore the possibility of the Islamic Republic supplying cheetahs to help to re-establish their presence on the subcontinent decades after they were hunted to extinction.

Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister, said he was in discussion with the Iranian authorities about what would be a breakthrough in wildlife conservation and unusual, high-profile co-operation between the two countries. The Islamic Republic has previously been deaf to calls from India to share its small and very rare Asiatic cheetah population.

The Iran­ian embassy in Delhi said on Wednesday its government was in the process of “arranging” talks.

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