Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Turkmen Vice-President Khoja Muhammad Muhammadov voiced enthusiasm for utilizing all capacities of their countries to pave the way for consolidating Tehran-Ashgabat ties, particularly through energy barter trade. “Iran intends to prepare the grounds for exporting goods (to Turkmenistan) in return for gas purchase from Turkmenistan,” Zanganeh said in a meeting with the Turkmen official in Tehran on Sunday. He called on Iranian manufacturing companies to make the necessary arrangements for exporting more items to Turkmenistan. Zanganeh also said Iran will continue to import natural gas from Turkmenistan at the existing level. Muhammadov, for his part, vowed to do his best to expand all-out ties between the two friendly nations. Iran and Turkmenistan have had official diplomatic relations since Turkmenistan's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Iran was the first country to recognize Turkmenistan as an independent nation. Since then, the two countries have enjoyed good relations and have cooperated in the economic and energy sectors.