India & Iran drop dollar in oil trade to bypass U.S. sanctions

31 May, 2018, 23:02 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Ka-226T

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is rushing to New Delhi to discuss with the Indian leadership ways in which the two countries could continue pursuing their economic and trade agenda despite the re-imposition of American sanctions on the Islamic nation.

This comes after the United States President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actionm, which limited Iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief.

New Delhi, May 28 There can not be any comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan as talks and terror can not go together, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today, but asserted that engagements such as track-two diplomacy and NSA-level meetings will keep taking place.

Iran is the also second largest supplier of crude oil to India, supplying more than 425,000 barrels of oil per day.

Swaraj on Monday met Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in New Delhi to build support against the USA rejection of the nuclear accord.

The United States has warned that Iran should comply with the conditions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set for it lest it face "crushing sanctions".

"We don't make our foreign policy under pressure from other countries", she told a news conference.

As India gets set to purchase S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force from Russian Federation, all may not be well for Indo-US defence cooperation with questions being raised in Washington about New Delhi-Moscow bonhomie. Discussing the relations with Pakistan, Swaraj said, "We are always ready for talks with Pakistan but with a caveat that terror and talks can not go together".

In February, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani visited New Delhi when nine agreements were signed to expand bilateral economic ties.

India does $115 bn in annual trade with the USA, but that with Iran is $13 bn a year. The sanctions threaten to also impede India's Pakistan-bypassing transportation corridor to Afghanistan and Central Asia via Iran, including the Chabahar port project.

Minister Swaraj's brutally frank comments suggest that Trump just lost India on Iran policy, and it is not impossible that his tough tariff and other policies could push this huge potential ally away.

The minister said Modi, during his talks with May on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), also raised the issue of delay by British authorities in sending back Indian fugitives.

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