TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in India on an official visit, said he plans to hold talks with the South Asian country’s officials about a range of issues, including Washington’s “illegal” move to leave the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in New Delhi on Sunday, Zarif pointed to his planned meetings in India and said he would hold talks with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday afternoon about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and “the US’s illegal measures”, including its move to walk away from the international pact.
He added that ways to serve the two countries’ economic interests in the current situation will also be discussed in the meeting his Indian counterpart.
Zarif also said the two sides would try to pave the way for the development of cooperation between Tehran and New Delhi as two major trade and political partners in the region.
Given India’s position as a political and economic partner of the Islamic Republic in the region, the foreign minister said, officials from the country’s various public sectors have accompanies him in the trip to New Delhi.
Zarif’s tour of India comes at a time of intensified diplomatic efforts to save the JCPOA in the wake of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and imposed new sanctions against Tehran.
Last week, Reuters quoted head of finance of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s top refiner, as saying that his company will turn to its traditional oil suppliers, mostly in the Middle East, if the US sanctions against Iran result in supply disruptions.
“So far we haven’t cut any volumes from Iran. We have to see how strongly the US takes up sanctions. From our side, we would like to continue. Otherwise we will look to our traditional suppliers,” A.K. Sharma said.
IOC, which controls 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity or about a third of India’s overall capacity, plans to buy 140,000 bpd of Iranian oil in 2018/19 and has an option to buy an additional 40,000 bpd.