Speaker: Iran, India relations historical
Iran and India have high level of cooperation in different fields and their relations are historical, visiting Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Sunday, IRNA reported.
Speaking to reporters in the Mumbai international airport, he added that Tehran welcomes expansion of ties with New Delhi in all areas, including the fields of culture, economy and regional and international politics.
Larijani is in India for an official five-day visit to the country upon an invitation from the speaker of India's lower house of the Parliament (Lok Sabha) Meira Kumar.
Larijani will have a meeting with Indian economic activists and local officials in Mumbai and will travel to New Delhi on Tuesday to meet with India's high-ranking officials.
Larijani told a press conference, prior to his departure to New Delhi, that Iran and India enjoy close parliamentary relations and that parliamentary cooperation paves the way for the expansion of bilateral ties in all fields.
Larijani described Iran-India relations in cultural and political areas as 'remarkable'.
He said that India is currently one of the region's economic powers and Iranian parliamentary delegation's visit to India aims promoting parliamentary relations between the two countries.
He said that he would confer with senior Indian officials, including Indian President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Secretary of Supreme Security Council and Parliament Speaker.
He added that he would discuss regional and international issues, including Afghanistan, campaign against terrorism and drug smuggling with Indian senior officials.
India is a founding member of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and had an influential presence in NAM Summit in Tehran, he noted.
Iran and India which have deep historical and cultural relations are now seeking to further expand their political and economic ties.
India, the world's fourth-largest petroleum consumer, is Iran's second largest oil customer after China and purchases around $12 billion worth of Iranian crude every year which equals 12 percent of its consumption.