On Wednesday, September 26, 2018 External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif met on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly in New York and hold the bilateral talks on issues of mutual interest including oil purchase, trade and business.
Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs of India, wrote on Twitter, “Relations spanning millennia! EAM @SushmaSwaraj and Iranian Foreign Minister @JZarif met on the sidelines of UNGA. Discussed issues of mutual interest”.
Relations spanning millennia!
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) September 26, 2018
After meeting, When asked about assurance from India on oil purchase, Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif said to ANI, “Our Indian friends have always been categorical in terms of their intention to continue economic cooperation and (the) import of oil from Iran. And I heard the same statement from my Indian counterpart”.
Zarif said, “We have comprehensive cooperation with India and that comprehensive cooperation also includes energy cooperation because Iran has always been a reliable source of energy for India”.
India is the second biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China. Indian refiners have cut their oil import order quantity from Iran amid threat of US sanctions and India had already conveyed to US that it cannot cut Iranian oil import to zero because of its over-dependency on Iran for completion of its oil requirements.
US sanctions on Iran’s Oil and Gas sector and infrastructure projects will be in full force from November 4, India has asked US for relief in sanctions when it comes Chabahar Port as it is important for its reach to landlocked Afghanistan.
US has warned that the countries and firms that will continue to trade and business with Iran after November 4, will be sanctioned. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said, “Come November 4, and make no mistakes”.
India is developing Chabahar Port in Iran and it is expected to be operational by 2019. Zarif said that Chabahar is still functional and Iran wants to expand its capacity with the help of India and other Investors.