Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

India will continue cooperation with Iran despite United States sanctions

India will continue cooperation with Iran despite United States sanctions

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.

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif reviewed bilateral ties during a quick visit to New Delhi by the latter, an Indian foreign ministry statement said.

"India follows only United Nations sanctions and not unilateral sanctions by any country", said a trade representative for India, directly rebuking the Trump administration's efforts to isolate the Iranian regime.

Iran is also a key energy supplier to Asia's third largest economy.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said India was ready for talks with Pakistan if it stopped aiding terrorism.

"We have said time and again that we are merely negotiating about JCPOA and have no demands or words beyond it", Iran's top diplomat told Tasnim.

These concerns, the legislator added, were separate from the sanctions and legislation that the USA has imposed on Russian Federation. Now India has to readopt those workarounds on payment and shipping insurance because global shipping operators and tanker owners are pulling back from Iran-related business even before the new sanctions take effect on November 4.

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

During the visit, India and Iran signed almost a dozen pacts, centrepiece of which was an agreement on development of Chabahar port. India reportedly imported US$10.5 billion worth of goods - mainly crude oil - and exported commodities worth US$2.4 billion.

On the tightening of work visa restrictions by the US, the Minister said India was talking to the US White House, Administration and Congress to convince them not to revoke H-1B (short-term work visas for professionals) and H4 visas (work permits for spouses of H1-B visa holders). Trump's May 8 withdrawal from the nuclear accord, however, has put this investment at risk and Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh said the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which already claims 30 percent of the project, could take the French supercompany's 50.1 percent stake.

The port is being touted as a way for India to establish trade routes that bypass rival Pakistan.

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