Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visits India as US sanctions weigh in

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: May 14, 2019, 06:17 AM(IST)

File photo: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Iran is its third largest supplier of oil to India after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10 per cent of its total needs.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived on Monday night in New Delhi to hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj primarily on the impact of the US ending waivers on import of oil from Iran, and ways to deal with it, official sources said.

The Iranian Foreign Minister and Sushma Swaraj will also discuss the latest developments pertaining to the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was inked in 2015 that had then paved the way for the lifting of US sanctions on Iran.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Javad Zarif arrived at 11.45 PM on Monday and will depart at 2:30 PM on Wednesday.

The Iranian foreign ministry in a release said, "Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will travel to the Indian capital of New Delhi to hold talks with Indian officials".

Iranian FM will also visit other countries and brief about the deal, from which the US withdrew last year. Tehran is banking on the European Union to save the deal now.

European Union’s (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini on Monday said, "As long as Iran remains compliant, we remain committed to implementing the Nuclear Deal and our stand is that the IAEA remains the only body to verify on Iran's compliance".

Import of Iranian oil will also be up for discussion when Zarif meets Sushma since US waivers to Delhi on Iran sanctions came to end earlier this month. 

Iran is one of the supplier to crude oil to India. The India-Iran bilateral trade during the fiscal year 2016-17 was $12.89 billion with India importing $ 10.5 billion worth of goods mainly crude oil. 

The US had told India and other countries to cut oil imports from Iran to "zero" by November 4 or face sanctions. However, Washington had granted a six-month waiver from sanctions to eight countries, including India.

The world's third-biggest oil consumer, India 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.

This is Zarif's second visit to India this year. He met Minister of State in the ministry of external affairs Gen V K Singh in Doha at the ministerial meeting of Asian Cooperation Dialogue on 1 May.

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