India feels there is huge scope for boosting exports to Iran in the wake of sanctions imposed by the US and Europe.
The opportunities that India sees in Iran are in sectors such as tea, wheat, rice, medicines, pharmaceuticals, iron and steel, pipes, mining, medium-density fibreboard and projects, official sources said.
The Commerce Secretary, Dr Rahul Khullar, on Thursday confirmed that a large contingent of Indian business persons and officials would be visiting Iran in a month to promote India's exports. He declined to elaborate.
However, official sources had earlier said that there was at least an $8-billion opportunity in Iran awaiting India's exporting community. This amount is approximately the gap left by other exporters , including from the US and Europe, that have virtually put a halt to shipments there after the sanctions.
India has maintained that the sanctions imposed by the US and EU - unlike those by the United Nations - are unilateral and, therefore, by giving a boost to trade with Iran, it was not violating any international norms.
India honours the UN sanctions, but that does not cover a vast range of items that can be exported to Iran, official sources said.
Meanwhile, Dr Khullar said there would soon be a solution to the issue of payment for rice exports to Iran. Tea exports to that country were also facing payment problems, he said without giving details.
He also confirmed that an Iranian private sector trader was interested in importing a huge quantity of wheat from India.