India not to follow US restrictions against Iran

Senior Iranian and Indian officials Monday discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties, particularly trade links, and exchanged views on the latest regional and international developments.

29 May 2018
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Senior Iranian and Indian officials Monday discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties, particularly trade links, and exchanged views on the latest regional and international developments. 

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with a number of Indian officials during his one-day visit to New Delhi, including the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and exchanged views on issues of mutual interest and concern. 

The two countries have long-standing political and economic ties and Iran is one of India’s top crude oil suppliers.                 

Building Cordial Ties 

"We have had very good relations in the past, and we expect to continue these relations. We will have a number of meetings today, and we will work on expanding the very good relations that we have with India," Zarif told Indian news agency ANI upon arrival. 

Fars News Agency quoted him as telling reporters ahead of his talks  that discussions will be held about the United States' withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, which lifted economic sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Ways to protect Tehran and New Delhi interests in light of the new developments will be explored, he said.  

The minister added that Indo-Iran relations will continue to grow irrespective of Washington's will and nuclear decision. 

  Unilateral Sanctions 

India's top diplomat said Monday that her country only abides by sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not those imposed by any other country, such as those announced by the US against Iran. 

"India follows only UN sanctions, and not unilateral sanctions by any country," she said at a news conference in response to a question on India's response to the US decision, Reuters reported. 

Indian Interests 

In a statement on May 10 following the US exit from the nuclear agreement, a spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs said the country will take the necessary steps to safeguard its interests with respect to the deal.  

"We will take necessary measures to safeguard our interests. It is too early to come to a conclusion on implications of the US withdrawing from the JCPOA," Raveesh Kumar said, referring to the nuclear accord known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, ANI reported. 

India has also said all parties to the agreement should engage constructively to resolve the issue peacefully and that Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy must be ensured, according to Press Trust of India.

Port Projects  

Indian interest in the Iran nuclear deal revolve around possible US sanctions that would once again slow down the development of Chabahar Port that New Delhi is trying to develop as an entry point to landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia, an article published by Indian financial daily Mint said Monday. 

US sanctions on Iran had previously stalled Indian investment in and development of the port complex. Only after the conclusion of the nuclear deal has New Delhi moved forward, signing agreements with Afghanistan and Iran for sending goods through the port as well as for developing the port, which is situated less than 100 km from Pakistan's port of Gwadar. 

India is also wary of US sanctions affecting its oil imports from Iran, one of its closest sources, the article said.  

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