“We Only Recognise UN Sanctions, We Don’t Recognise Any Country-Specific Sanctions”


New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday held wide-ranging talks with her Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif. His day-long visit is part of Tehran’s efforts to reach out to major world powers after the US pulled out from the landmark nuclear deal of 2015 under which Iran had agreed to stop its sensitive nuclear activities in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Iran had struck the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) with the US, the UK, Russia, China, France and Germany after years of negotiations. The Iranian Foreign Minister has visited China, Russia and some European countries in the last three weeks after President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

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Earlier, on Monday, Swaraj had said that India will continue trading with Iran and Venezuela despite US sanctions against the two countries, asserting that it only recognises UN restrictions. “We only recognise UN sanctions. We do not recognise any country-specific sanctions,” she had said at a press conference.

Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier and there were apprehensions about the possible impact of the US decision on India’s oil imports. In February 2018, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had visited India during which both sides agreed to further expand their cooperation in a number of key sectors.