India, Iran review bilateral ties, to strengthen connectivity through Chabahar port

Court of Justice session

Striking a defiant note against the U.S.'s demands to "zero" out oil imports and end engagement with Iran, Indian and Iranian officials said they would "maintain the momentum" of bilateral cooperation between them.

On the U.S. sanctions, the government has been maintaining that it will go by what is in the country's national interest.

China buying extra Iranian oil could tiresome the economic impact. "It's very important for the U.S.to get India on board with the sanctions policy".

The talks here came on a day United States treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly said in Washington that USA may consider providing waivers from the sanctions to some countries which require time to cut import of oil from Iran.

Trump also announced the reimposition of sanctions on Tehran with the punitive measures impacting investments in infrastructure as well as energy.

There were no official comments from the Indian and the USA side.

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The Trump administration is pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November, when the United States reimposes sanctions against Tehran.

The Trump administration has said more than 50 foreign companies have withdrawn their business from Iran since Trump announced the US was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russian Federation.

Mnuchin says that exemptions are only possible in "very specific circumstances where it clearly benefits our national security".

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing allies on June 23 to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a "measurable" supply boost, but giving no specific numbers.

These discussions also took place ahead of Delhi's discussions with the USA on sanctions on Iran and Russian Federation. India is yet to take a call on complying with the United States sanctions on Iran. This assumes significance as New Delhi is looking to develop Iran's Chabahar port in a bid to access landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia given its hostile relations with Pakistan.

Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Under the mechanism, India used to pay in euros to clear 55 per cent of its dues through Ankara-based Halk bank.

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