Head of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) Mehmet Atmaca lauded Iran's scientific and economic progress despite the western sanctions, and urged Turkish capital holders to increase investment in neighboring Iran. "Iran is a powerful regional state which has been able to succeed in different fields under hard conditions and despite tough economic sanctions," Atmaca said in a meeting with officials of Iran's Aras Free Trade Zone (AFTZ) on Monday. Atmaca who heads a trade and industry delegation from Turkey's Trabozan port city, underlined that Iran has made good economic progress in recent years, relying on its scientific and economic power. He expressed the hope that the two countries' cooperation would lead to increased investments by Turkish industrialists in AFTZ. The delegation from Trabozan arrived in Tabriz, capital city of East Azarbaijan province, on Friday for a four-day visit. Iran and Turkey have in recent years increased their cooperation in all the various fields of economy, security, trade, education, energy and culture. The two sides have exchanged several politico-economic delegations during the last few months.