United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday and discussed issues of mutual and regional interests.
Their meeting was keenly awaited as it comes amid escalating an face-off between Iran and the United States on Tehran's nuclear programme. They met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session here.
The two leaders "discussed bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on the situation in the region", said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
The two leaders could not hold a planned meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in June due to scheduling issues. India, the world's third biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80% of its oil needs through imports. Iran was its third-largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia till recently.
The six-month-long exemptions from US sanctions to India and seven other countries to buy oil from Iran expired on May 2 as Washington did not extend it. Indo-Iran ties have been on a upswing in the past few years.
Modi visited Tehran in May 2016 with an aim to craft a strategic relationship with Iran and expand India's ties with the West Asia. During the visit, the two countries signed nearly a dozen agreements, the centerpiece of which was a deal on the development of the strategic Chabahar port.
India, Iran and Afghanistan later signed a trilateral agreement providing for transport of goods among the three countries through the port.
In February last year, Rouhani visited India, becoming the first Iranian President to visit the country in a decade. During his visit, the two sides signed a dozen agreements.