India abides by United Nations sanctions, not unilateral ones: Swaraj

Arturo Kim
May 31, 2018

In comments before meeting Zarif, the Indian foreign minister had announced that her country would abide only by the sanctions imposed by the United Nations, not by those imposed by any other country, such as the U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Both developments showed the difficulty faced by governments like Russia, France, and India which have vowed that they will maintain their business ties with Tehran despite a US decision to withdraw from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers and reimpose sanctions.

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.

Russian Federation and France, both signatories to the nuclear deal, have vowed to keep upholding it and have been working with Tehran to find ways to help their businesses avoid US sanctions.

Iran is India's third largest oil supplier and there were apprehensions about possible impact of the U.S. decision on India's oil imports.

Based on the Iranian side's statement, Swaraj has referred to the significance of the Iran nuclear deal and underlined India's strong support for preserving the nuclear deal during the Monday talks. But New Delhi might come under pressure from Washington to minimise its economic partnership with Iran.

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Iranian lawmakers held high-level meetings with the European Union this week, with those close to the negotiations saying Tehran is attempting to circumvent American sanctions just weeks after President Trump withdrew from the global nuclear agreement.

"After that there was talk of a meeting with the United States", she said. The trade turnover between India and Iran in 2016-1917 years was 12.9 billion. USA.

Further among the key issues between India and Iran is the development of Chabahar port. India imported $10.5bn worth of goods, mainly crude oil, and exported commodities worth $2.4bn during that same time period.

On Pakistan's controversial Gilgit-Baltistan order that alters the status of the northern region of the parts of Jammu and Kashmir under Islamabad control, the minister said India had lodged its protests over the order and "the answer we got.is laughable".

As for the allegation that the MEA has shifted to Prime Minister's Office, Sushma Swaraj asked: "How am I answering all your questions if I do not know about the foreign policy as I only look after the Twitter handle?"

Zarif says Iran and India held "productive meetings on energy, banking, transportation and commerce".

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