The lifting of international sanctions on Iran has opened up immense opportunities and India is looking to expand cooperation with the Persian Gulf nation in sectors such as trade, investment, infrastructure and energy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
''India and Iran have always focused to add strength to our relations, even during the difficult times. In the current context, both countries can look to expand our cooperation in the fields of trade, technology, investment, infrastructure and energy security,'' he told Iran's IRNA news agency ahead of his arrival in Tehran on a two-day visit.
Stating that Indian public and private sector firms were keen on investing in Iran, he said the signing of agreement on the development of Chabahar Port will provide wider connectivity.
''Lifting of the international sanctions against Iran has opened up immense opportunities for both the countries, especially in the economic sphere,'' Modi said, adding India is keen to enhance its investment in the Persian Gulf nation and also welcomes flow of capital and investments from the oil-rich nation.
Modi, who will meet President Hassan Rouhani on Monday for formal talks, said he had during their last meeting at Ufa last year indicated possibilities of cooperation in ports, fertiliser and petrochemical sector. ''Energy is one of the most important dimensions of our bilateral economic cooperation. With Farzad-B, we have gone beyond the buyer-seller relationship to being genuine partners in the field of energy,'' he said.
India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp is in talks to secure development rights for the gas field it had discovered in 2008. It has already invested about $100 million in the gas field.
Expressing satisfaction over the progress made so far on the participation of India in development of the Iranian port of Chabahar, Modi said, ''I am happy that a progress has been made on Chabahar Port and also on wider connectivity initiative involving Chabahar. Our public and private sectors are keen to invest in Iran. At the same time, we would also welcome the flow of capital and investments from Iran.''
Elaborating on the agenda for his meetings with top Iranian leadership, Modi said, ''Iran is part of our extended neighbourhood, an important country in the region and one of the India's valuable partners. We are connected with each other by the shared history and civilisational ties.''
(Also see: Beyond oil: PM's Iran visit to give cultural ties a boost)