India wants Iran nuclear deal partners to engage after USA pullout

May 30, 2018, 06:12
India wants Iran nuclear deal partners to engage after USA pullout

The United States on Monday said it is working on adding more flexibility to its law that sanctions countries like India for buying Russian weapon systems, but sounded off New Delhi against going ahead with the Rs 40,000 crore deal for five S-400 defence missile systems with Moscow.

Citing committee members, the report said that purchasing the Russian system would make it hard for the USA to share sensitive technology with India.

Crude oil is among the biggest export goods that Iran sends to India, but it also has other interests in it, chief among them the construction of the Chabahar port in the Gulf of Oman.

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

US President Donald Trump this month withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and ordered the reimposition of sanctions suspended under the 2015 accord.

A PTI report suggested that India and Russia are working on finding a solution to evade legal provisions in USA law which imposes sanctions on countries and entities transacting with Russian defence establishments.

Washington has also tightened sanctions against Venezuela over the controversial re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.

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

Swaraj's comments came just before a meeting with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in New Delhi. The port is of strategic importance to India, which wants to use it as part of a new maritime route that goes around its neighbor and rival, Pakistan.

India continued to trade with Iran during previous rounds of USA sanctions, but after United Nations sanctions were imposed in 2006, it had to cut Iranian oil imports because they choked off its banking channels and insurance coverage for oil tankers.

Swaraj also said India would continue trading with Venezuela, but there was no plan to use its local cryptocurrency in oil trade.

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