United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday and the two leaders discussed issues of mutual and regional interests. Their meeting was keenly awaited as it comes amid escalating 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 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. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghIndia, the world’s third biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80 per cent 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. Prime Minister 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. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadDuring the visit, India and Iran signed nearly a dozen agreements, centrepiece of which was a deal on development of the strategic Chabahar port. Later, India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement providing for transport of goods among the three countries through the port. In February 2018, Rouhani visited India, becoming the first Iranian President to visit India in a decade. During his visit, the two sides signed a dozen agreements. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern and they strongly condemned the Pulwama and the Christchurch terror attacks. Modi and Ardern met on the sidelines of the UNGA summit and reviewed the bilateral relations and discussed steps to intensify political, economic, defence, security and people to people relations, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement. They also discussed the global and regional issues of mutual interest, including the issue of international terrorism and appreciated the convergence of views between the two countries on this issue. “Both countries have strongly condemned and extended support to each other following the Pulwama and Christchurch terror attacks,” the statement said.