India, Top Iranian Oil Importer, Says Will Not Heed U.S. Sanctions

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says India won't be dictated

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says India won't be dictated to More

Trump also said he would reinstate USA nuclear sanctions on Iran suspended under the nuclear accord and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Iranian officials are plotting with USA allies across the globe to develop a series a measures meant to counter new sanctions by the Trump administration following its abandonment of the landmark nuclear deal, setting up a global economic showdown between America and its allies over their future business dealings with the Islamic Republic.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, in remarks following meetings with top Iranian leaders, vowed to ignore USA sanctions.

A PTI report suggested that India and Russia are working on finding a solution to evade legal provisions in United States law which imposes sanctions on countries and entities transacting with Russian defence establishments.

Sushma Swaraj with Javad Zarif in Delhi Monday.

The statement was issued after a meeting of Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj with her Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a right wing Hindu nationalist, had earlier seemed to waver over how to deal with Trump's violation of the UN Security Council-backed Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA).

India continued to trade with Iran during previous rounds of US sanctions, but after United Nations sanctions were imposed in 2006, it had to cut Iranian oil imports because they choked off its banking channels and insurance coverage for oil tankers. Washington has also tightened sanctions against Venezuela over the controversial re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.

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According to the MEA, India-Iran bilateral trade during the 2016-17 fiscal year totaled US$12.89 billion.

Iranian leaders disclosed on Tuesday that they had recently held high-level meetings with European Union nations and leaders in India and Thailand to explore options for skirting new US sanctions.

India has recently concluded price negotiations with Russian Federation for a almost Rs 40,000-crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force.

India, however, has made it clear that it has not abided by the United States sanctions on Iran or Venezuela in the past, neither will it this time.

What's more of a puzzle, though, is why they continue to support Venezuela.

Zarif called the visit to India "fruitful" in a tweet. While India may not be huge fans of Iran, they're extremely antagonistic towards Pakistan and that works out to be a win for them. India's private, as well as public sector, oil refiners are heavily dependent on cheap Iranian crude.

India is the world's third-biggest oil consumer.

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