Decision on Iran oil post polls
NEW DELHI: India has told Iran that it will decide on oil imports after the Lok Sabha polls conclude later this month and emphasised that New Delhi remains committed to Chabahar Port as its gateway to the region.
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj conveyed these views to her counterpart Javad Zarif, who is visiting the country at his own initiative to brief the Indian side on his nation’s approach to recent developments in the region, including on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (als ..
Iran has been consulting with other countries in the region including Russia, China, Turkmenistan and Iraq over the past few days. The visit offered India an opportunity to strike a balance in its ties with Iran and the US, which has imposed sanctions on Iran.
During his meeting with Swaraj, Zarif recalled the steps announced by President Hassan Rouhani on May 8, including decisions linked to the export of enriched material and heavy water. He said a 60-day timeline has been given to EU-3 and other parties to JCPOA to restore oil trade and banking channels.
India reiterated its position on JCPOA, the sources said, adding that it would like all parties to the agreement to continue to fulfil their commitments and engage constructively to resolve all issues peacefully and through dialogue.
On the purchase of oil from Iran, Swaraj reiterated the position that a decision would be taken after the elections, keeping in mind India’s commercial considerations, energy security and economic interests, sources said.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the operationalisation of the interim contract on Chabahar Port between India Ports Global Ltd. and Ports and Maritime Organization. The two countries shared their views on Afghanistan and agreed to maintain close coordination on the evolving situation there.
After his arrival on Monday night, Zarif said he had travelled to India to discuss the “most recent developments in the region as well as our bilateral relations” with Swaraj.
“India is one of our most important partners – economic, political and regional,” Zarif pointed out.
Referring to oil trade through the rupee mechanism, which was used for purchases during sanctions before 2015, Zarif stated, “A special financial system between us and Delhi has already been designed and that system has been used and is being used for bilateral cooperation.”
The US reimposed strict sanctions on Iran and vowed to reduce the country’s oil exports to zero after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers a year ago.
India and China, Iran’s top oil clients, stopped purchases after the US withdrew waivers earlier this month to the two countries and six other nations that allowed them to import some Iranian crude without being exposed to punitive action.
The Economic Times 15-05-19