Iran is keen on expanding trade ties with India in all areas, including economic, cultural and political, Ali Ardashir Larijani, Speaker of Iranian Parliament (Majlis), said in Mumbai today.
He said Iran is also keen on expanding energy ties with India so as to increase bilateral trade volume from the current levels of $15 billion.
Larijani, who is in India on an official five-day visit at the invitation of Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, was speaking to reporters at the Mumbai international airport.
Larijani, who is widely seen as successor to Iranian President Ahmedejani, said his country's business leaders want to boost ties with India and urged Indian authorities to realise their potential.
He also stressed the need for greater academic collaboration between the two countries, where steps like expediting issuance of student visas will help a lot, he said.
At a meeting with the speaker of Maharashtra legislative assembly in Mumbai, Larijani blamed western powers for disrupting energy flow under the pretext of sanctions against Iran. ''These are not due to their opposition to us. They are pursuing other long-term objectives in order to control energy chokepoints. Therefore, both sides (Iran and India) should collaborate to prevent others from seizing this chokepoint,'' Larijani added.
He said bilateral trade could be enhanced by increasing cooperation in areas like energy resources and industries.
Larijani is accompanied by a large delegation of parliamentarians and ministers.