Ahead of the 16th NAM Summit, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has said that India hopes to boost mutual cooperation with Iran especially in the economic sector.

The remarks came even as US has been leaning on India to decrease its engagement with Tehran which has been hit by a series of sanctions slapped by Washington and some other Western countries.

Mr Krishna yesterday told reporters upon his arrival at Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport that India, as a founder member of NAM, thinks of boosting cooperation among the movement’s member states.

He said India and Iran have long had friendly relations and New Delhi hopes to boost mutual cooperation especially in economic area, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said in a report.

Mr Krishna held bilateral talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi last evening during which the two sides focused on trade and economy.

The recently held trilateral meeting of India, Iran and Afghanistan, which was undertaken to brainstorm strategies for operating the crucial Chabahar port, was also discussed.

Mr Krishna and Mr Salehi focused on bilateral trade and economy during which payment mechanism was also discussed.

The 16th NAM Summit is being hosted by Iran which sees the event as a major diplomatic achievement. Leaders and representatives from 120 countries are expected to assemble here for the Summit on August 30-31.

Today, Mr Krishna will attend the NAM Ministerial meeting.

A number of important leaders from the block, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will attend the event.