US President Donald Trump announced his country's withdrawal from the Iran deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) of 2015, calling it "flawed" and ordered sanctions to be reimposed on Iran. But, minister Swaraj said New Delhi rejects "reactionary" policies and would not be dictated to by other countries. India also ignored USA requests to close its embassy in North Korea, Swaraj said at her briefing. On the surface, you might think it would be easy for New Delhi to sacrifice the Iran piece of its trade for the much bigger American piece. Trade is one reason, given the robust market India provides for Iranian oil.
Swaraj's comments came before a meeting with her Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in New Delhi at which they discussed strategy in the aftermath of the US decision.
"Zarif briefed about the discussions that Iran has undertaken with parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action following the U.S. decision to withdraw from the agreement", said an Indian government spokesperson in a statement, without elaborating further.
Expediting the formation of a mechanism to withstand United States sanctions, India and Iran have discussed various options, including Rupee-Rial trade, so that bilateral trade between the two countries continues without a blip.
According to the MEA, India-Iran bilateral trade during the 2016-17 fiscal year totaled US$12.89 billion.More news: White House wants briefing on classified info, Giuliani says
India trades with Iran in Euros, which are not under the purview of the US Department of the Treasury.
Members of the visiting high-powered US Congress delegation also indicated that their country's proposed sale of armed drones like MQ-9 Reaper or Predator-B and other high-tech equipment to India could be impacted if the S-400 deal was inked.
And while Predator Drones may be crucial if and when deployed for anti-terror operations targeted at Pakistan, it is reported that the need for S-400 missile shield is no less important and can be crucial in strengthening India's air defence abilities - especially along the Sino-Indian border.
What's more of a puzzle, though, is why they continue to support Venezuela.
"A major part of the oil is sold to India and China", Nobakht said.
India has other interests in Iran, in particular a commitment to build the port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman. Yes, they buy oil from them also, but the Venezuelan oil supply has become sketchy at best under Maduro.