India says it will continue trading with Iran, ignoring U.S. sanctions


With the USA pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal creating uncertainty over dealings with Tehran, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made it clear that India does not recognise country-specific sanctions.

Swaraj said India's decision on ties with Iran or its position on sanctions is independent of any other country.

Iran is the third largest source of India's oil imports.

Swaraj on Monday met Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in New Delhi to build support against the U.S. rejection of the nuclear accord.

In its reaction to Trump's decision, India had said all the parties concerned should engage constructively to resolve the issue peacefully and that Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy must be ensured. The remarks were a categorical rejection of Washington's decision to withdraw from the six-nation Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement and its plans to impose massive new sanctions on Iranian entities.

This caution, in spite of the European Union promising to block U.S. sanctions, is costing these companies in the process of getting the contracts. The EU foreign policy chief says that the EU is working on a set of measures to make sure that the nuclear agreement is preserved and the economic investments from the European side but also from other sides in the world are protected.

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Swaraj's comments came just before a meeting with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in New Delhi.

During Rouhani's visit, both sides signed nine agreements including one on handing over Chabahar port's operation to India for 18 months. India imported $10.5bn worth of goods, mainly crude oil, and exported commodities worth $2.4bn during that same time period.

During the visit, India and Iran signed almost a dozen pacts, centrepiece of which was an agreement on development of Chabahar port.

"The Reserve Bank of India disallows trading in cryptocurrency, so we will not trade in cryptocurrency".

Media reports have speculated India could revive a rupee-rial payment arrangement with Iran to shield exporters from the heat of USA sanctions.