External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday held “constructive” discussions with her Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif on all bilateral issues of mutual interests. The talks by the two foreign ministers came 12 days after the US ended six-month-long exemptions from sanctions to India and seven other countries to buy oil from Iran.
It is learnt that the issue figured in the talks.
“EAM @SushmaSwaraj and Iranian Foreign Minister @JZarif held constructive discussions on all bilateral issues of mutual interest. Good exchange of views on the evolving regional situation, including Afghanistan,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
After the exemptions expired on May 2, India said it will deal with the issue based on three factors — the country’s energy security, commercial consideration and economic interests.
In May last year, the US had brought back sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal which was struck in 2015.
The US had told India and other countries to cut oil imports from the Gulf nation to “zero” by November 4 or face sanctions. However, Washington had granted a six-month waiver from sanctions to eight countries, including India.
India, the world’s third biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80 per cent of its oil needs through imports. Iran is its third largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10 per cent of its total needs.
Indo-Iran ties have been on a upswing in the last few years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tehran in May 2016 with an aim to craft a strategic relationship with Iran and expand India’s ties with West Asia.
During the visit, India and Iran signed nearly a dozen agreements, centrepiece of which was a deal on development of Chabahar port.
Later, India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement providing for transport of goods among the three countries through the port. PTI MPB ZMN
May 14, 2019 18:49 IST