Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will arrive here on Tuesday to hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj primarily on impact of the US ending waivers on import of oil from Iran, and ways to deal with it, official sources said.
Tehran was among New Delhi’s top three energy suppliers, providing 23.6 million tonnes of oil last year, or about 10% of the country’s energy needs.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Zarif will arrive at 11.45 PM on Tuesday and depart at 2:30 PM on Wednesday.
Zarur is expected to meet the Indian Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss options to maintain energy and strategic partnership. India will also seek a brief from the Iranian Minister on status of nuclear deal after Tehran threatened to revisit certain aspects of JCPoA signed in 2015.
The sanctions were imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Last week, Iran said it would begin enriching uranium at higher levels within 60 days if the world powers failed to agree on new terms for the nuclear deal.
EU, France, Germany and UK on Monday expressed concern with Iran’s decision on JCPoA even as it expressed concern over US decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran.
“We call on countries not party to the JCPoA to refrain from taking any actions that impede the remaining parties’ ability to fully perform their commitments,” the four suggested in a statement.
The Iran-US tensions further escalated after Washington said Tehran was preparing for some kind of an attack and dispatched warships, including an aircraft carrier, and B-52 bombers, to the region. Iran has vowed to retaliate if it is attacked.
Zarif last visited India in January, and the current trip was organised at short notice at Tehran’s request, according to official sources.