Indian-Iranian talks after US decision to end waiver to buy Iranian oil

NEW DELHI, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday held talks with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in New Delhi over a number of bilateral and regional issues of mutual concern.

“External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held constructive discussions on all bilateral issues of mutual interest. Good exchange of views on the evolving regional situation, including Afghanistan,” Spokesman of Indian External Affairs Ministry Raveesh Kumar said in his official account.

The discussions focused on the consequences of US sanctions on import of Iranian oil in addition to issues of regional security and the latest development in Afghanistan. No further details of the talks are yet out.

The meeting assumes importance as it comes in the backdrop of increasing tension in the region.

India had earlier said was prepared to deal with the fallout of US decision not to renew waivers that allowed India and other seven countries to import Iranian oil without facing sanctions.

The US had given temporary wavier to eight countries including India, China, South Korea, Japan, Greece, Taiwan, Turkey and Italy to purchase oil from Iran without facing US sanctions. Three countries including Italy, Greece and Taiwan already stopped importing Iranian oil while Turkey expressed its displeasure over the US decision saying it will not serve peace or regional stability.

Iran, which is considered third largest supplier of oil to India after Iraq and Saudi Arabia, responded to the US decision saying that Tehran did not give any value or credibility for waivers granted to its oil customers.

US President Donald Trump had withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal Iran between Iran and 5+1 nations including the five UN Security Council permanent members and Germany and re-imposed sanctions last August targeting mainly the banking system to be followed by the second phase of sanctions targeting the energy sector.

The latest talks come amid reports that New Delhi may strike a secret deal with Iran to overcome US sanctions.

Source: Kuwait News Agency