India to ignore U.S. sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, says FM

31 May, 2018, 23:03 | Author: Donnie King
  • External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India abides only by the sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not that of any individual nation indicating that the country may not be in a hurry to re-consider its economic ties with Iran on account of the fresh sanctions imposed by the USA on the Islamic nation.

Ever since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran, the U.S. has been resorting to sanctions pressure against Tehran in what the Treasury said was the USA president's "aggressive campaign" against Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

India on Monday said that the United States should engage "constructively for peaceful resolution" of all issues on nuclear deal with Iran.

Zarif, for his part, praised the close bilateral ties between Iran and India, saying the leadership of the two sides have made good agreements on promotion of economic relations.

Recall that both these countries are the main suppliers of oil to India.

Lukoil's cautious stance follows an announcement by French energy giant Total earlier this month that it will abandon a major gas project in Iran unless it gets a US sanctions waiver.

Swaraj said New Delhi's position was independent of any other country. "We are also in talks with Europe to continue oil sales to them, and Iran's increased oil sales to them has even been under discussion with them to compensate any drop if some states decrease oil imports".

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. India should partner other key democracies to push back with full diplomatic strength, including, if necessary, hauling the U.S. into the WTO dispute-resolution body and introducing a UN General Assembly resolution against unlawful extraterritorial sanctions.

"Thanks to India status as Iran's political and economic partner in the region, we have organised the meeting with Indian officials in different governmental sectors", Zarif said.

President Rouhani delivered a scathing blow to Trump after his decision, saying "Iran will be conferring with the world's two super powers, Russian Federation and China".

Bilateral trade between India and Iran amounted to $12.9 billion in 2016-17. India is looking at developing Iran's Chabahar port as a gateway to enter landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia bypassing Pakistan.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently said that any call for peace by Pakistan will be taken seriously by India.

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj (R) and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif (R).



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