India and Iran on Monday discussed ways to tackle the fallout of US sanctions on their Islamic nation on bilateral economic cooperation, particularly oil imports by India.
New Delhi is believed to have indicated to Tehran that it was committed to continue with its oil imports from Iran and also to completing the Chabahar port project that provides India a critical transport link to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.
The two countries held the 15th round of foreign office consultations in New Delhi on Monday. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale led the Indian delegation while Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araghchi headed the Iranian side. The Iranian minister also called on Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar.
The External Affairs Ministry said the two sides reviewed and positively assessed the progress in implementation of decisions taken during the state visit of the Iranian President to India in February 2018, especially for enhancing connectivity and strengthening cooperation in trade and economic issues and in the promotion of people-to-people exchanges.
Views were also exchanged on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the efforts being made by various parties to address issues that have arisen over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) on the Iranian nuclear programme following US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal.
It was agreed to maintain the momentum of mutually beneficial multifaceted bilateral cooperation and exchanges between the two sides and to hold the next round of joint commission meeting at the level of the External Affairs Minister in November 2018 in Iran.
The Iranian minister’s visit came a day before a US team, led by a senior Treasury Department official, visit India to discuss the sanctions against Iran and other issues. The first set of American sanctions on Iran will come into force on 6 August and the second on 4 November.