Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for efforts to remove the obstacles to trade and banking ties with India. In a meeting with Foreign Secretary of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Tehran on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Zarif expressed the hope for closer relations between Iran and India in light of the history of their mutual cooperation and the issues of common interest. Zarif also stressed the need for the removal of obstacles to banking interaction between Tehran and New Delhi and for efforts to help and support the Iranian students in India. For his part, Jaishankar said he saw a positive prospect of relations with Iran, and hailed the results of his meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran, particularly with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. The two diplomats also discussed the ways to promote cooperation in the energy industry, transit industry, and completion of the North-South Corridor, an international transport route connecting Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. Iran and India, two major members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), have increased efforts in recent years to establish closer trade ties. India is one of the major customers of Iran’s crude oil. Last month, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan proposed the idea of cooperation with India “at a strategic level”, highlighting the far-reaching impacts of military and defense cooperation on regional security.