By Arul Louis,
United Nations : External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed US sanctions against Tehran amidst American President Donald Trump issuing dire warnings at the Security Council against violating the embargo.
India and Iran “shared each others’ position about where we stand at this point of time” on the sanctions, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters after the Ministers’ meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session here on Wednesday.
At the Security Counci, Trump said that the sanctions against Iran will come into full force in November and warned “any individual who fail to comply with these sanctions will face full consequences”.
Kumar said that India was engaged with all the stakeholders dealing with the sanctions and, therefore, it discussed it with Iran also.
Zarif told Sushma Swaraj about Iran’s interaction with the European Union (EU) and other countries over the sanctions, according to Kumar.
The spokesman said that Iran and India had “civilisational ties” going back in time and the discussions went beyond the sanctions issue.
Trump pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that Iran signed with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and the EU, to end sanctions in return for Teheran stopping nuclear weapons development.
The EU and most countries back the nuclear deal and oppose US sanctions and Trump found himself isolated at the Security Council.
Washington’s allies, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, openly opposed Trump at the Security Council meeting and expressed their support for the agreement with Iran.
Kumar declined to comment on foreign media reports that India was going to stop importing Iranian oil.
(Arul Louis can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)