Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

India will not follow US sanctions on Iran: FM Swaraj

India will not follow US sanctions on Iran: FM Swaraj

In comments before meeting Zarif, the Indian foreign minister had announced that her country would abide only by the sanctions imposed by the United Nations, not by those imposed by any other country, such as the USA sanctions against Iran.

Iran's foreign minister has said the details concerning the implementation of European Union proposals for keeping Tehran committed to Iran's nuclear deal with world powers (JCPOA) are not yet clear.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday met her Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif here and both the leaders discussed bilateral, regional and "international issues of mutual interest".

But Swaraj said New Delhi did not believe in "reactionary" policies and would not be dictated to by other countries.

Under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, India was forced between 2012 and 2015 to significantly slash Iranian oil imports and pay Iran in rupees or initiate barter trade.

Russian Federation would feature in the talks when the defence and foreign ministers of India and the United States meet in Washington July this year, spokesperson of the USA embassy in India has said.

India yesterday summoned Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over Islamabad's latest move, saying any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under its "forcible and illegal occupation" has no legal basis. "This is our position and there is no change in it", she said when asked about possibility of talks with Pakistan ahead of general elections in the country in July. Nevertheless, India continued to import Iranian crude oil and was among the last six customers of the Persian Gulf nation.

Indian refiners had slashed purchases of Iranian crude to about half their previous levels when the United Nations, European Union and US imposed a broad array of economic sanctions against Tehran.

He is on his one-day visit to India. India also ignored USA requests to close its embassy in North Korea, Swaraj said at her briefing.

Bilateral trade between India and Iran amounted to $12.9bn in 2016-17.

Iranian leaders disclosed on Tuesday that they had recently held high-level meetings with European Union nations and leaders in India and Thailand to explore options for skirting new US sanctions. This plan allows India to compete with the joint China-Pakistan port of Gwadar in Pakistani Baluchistan, giving it a geo-strategic reach-around Islamabad and Beijing.

"The Indians told us that they won't support unilateral sanctions against Iran and affirmed that India's government resolutely backs the nuclear agreement", said Gholamreza Ansari, Iranian Deputy Foreign minister for Economic Diplomacy, on Tuesday.

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