Policenama Online : External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj informed her Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif on Tuesday that a decision on purchasing Iranian oil in the face of US sanctions will be made after the conclusion of India’s general election, people familiar with developments said.
Iranian oil exports and Tehran’s approach to recent developments in the region, including tensions between Iran and the US over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iranian nuclear deal, figured in the discussions between Zarif and Swaraj.
Zarif raised the purchase of oil from Iran, Swaraj reiterated India’s position that a decision will be made after the general elections while keeping in mind the country’s “commercial considerations, energy security and economic interests”,
The US decision to end exemptions to sanctions on Iranian oil imports on May 2 has hit India. Tehran was among New Delhi’s top three energy suppliers, providing 23.6 million tonnes of oil last year, or about 10% of the country’s energy needs.
Zarif briefed the Indian side on Iran’s approach to developments in the region, including on JCPOA, and also reviewed bilateral cooperation. The outreach to India, he explained, was part of Iran’s consultations with key countries, including Russia, China, Turkmenistan and Iraq, over the past few days.
Zarif referred to President Hassan Rouhani’s announcement on May 8 about Iran keeping larger amounts of enriched uranium and heavy water, instead of exporting the excess as required under the JCPOA. He also mentioned the 60-day timeline given to the EU3 (France, Germany, the UK) and other parties to the JCPOA (China and Russia) for restoring oil exports and banking channels.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the operationalization of an interim contract between India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) and Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) for the development Chabahar port. They also discussed Afghanistan and agreed to “maintain close coordination on the evolving situation”, Source said.