Ally, Plans to Ignore Trump's Iran Sanctions

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says India won't be dictated

Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht disclosed on Tuesday that the nation's top leaders, including Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, have met with European leaders and others in the region to discuss skirting new US sanctions, which have targeted virtually every portion of Iran's economy, including its contested nuclear and energy sectors. Now India has to readopt those workarounds on payment and shipping insurance because global shipping operators and tanker owners are pulling back from Iran-related business even before the new sanctions take effect on November 4.

Yet Reuters reported on May 30 that India's Reliance Industries, which owns the world's biggest refining complex in the state of Gujarat, has significant exposure to the us financial system and was wary of the USA sanctions. They have said that, as long as Iran is able to continuing selling its oil around the world, Tehran will honor the nuclear deal.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on May 28 issued an apology for saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed lakhs of "Indians" in Nepal's Janakpur recently.

The US Treasury placed several Iranian state groups on its sanctions blacklist on Wednesday, accusing them of serious human rights abuses and censorship.

Earlier this month, the United States had pulled out from the landmark Iran nuclear deal of 2015 under which Tehran had agreed to stop its sensitive nuclear activities in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Sushma also sought to dispel the perception that some senior ministers - Nirmala Sitharaman and Rajnath Singh - had indicated that the government was open to dialogue with Pakistan.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's plane touched down in New Delhi on Monday, with a delegation of political and economic officials tagging along.

India's External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, on Monday did not mince words in delivering a sharp rebuke to USA plans for sanctions on trade with Iran, including National Security Adviser John Bolton's threats against third parties like India.

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On Capitol Hill, opponents of the nuclear accord are working on parallel efforts to ensure that any foreign nation caught skirting new USA sanctions on Iran faces harsh repercussions, including massive economic penalties and a possible cutoff from the US financial system.

Iran had struck the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) with the USA, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany after years of negotiations.

Iran is now the third largest oil supplier to India after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. "We never said no, but there is a caveat that talks can not take place in an atmosphere of violence", she said when asked about a recent reported statement by the Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa that Pakistan was ready for talks with India.

"A major part of the oil is sold to India and China", he added. That $115 bn per annum in trade that India does with the U.S. is a fraction of that of countries like China or South Korea, and numerous firms that deal with Iran likely have no USA assets that could be attached.

Most of Iran's crude exports, at least 1.8 million barrels a day, goes to India, China, and other Asian buyers.

Upon arrival at New Delhi airport, Zarif said that talks with officials of various countries on the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal will be continued.

Under the deal, the payments for oil will be made through India's state-run UCO Bank, which has no USA exposure.

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