Iran’s outreach to India after US exit from nuclear deal faces obstacles

Al-Monitor | : On May 28, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited India as part of Tehran’s broader engagement with world powers following the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In Iran, the visit was viewed as a diplomatic success, particularly after India’s foreign minister said her country would not abide by US unilateral sanctions against Iran. However, things changed shortly after Zarif’s trip. On May 30, India’s Reliance Industries, owner of the world’s biggest refining complex and a main buyer of Iranian oil, announced that it would halt its oil imports from Iran in October or November. The announcement came one day after two Indian banks that are actively engaged in financial transactions with Iran announced they would wind up all deals with Tehran by Aug. 6. Thus, the question is whether Iran can remain optimistic about the future of energy exports and financial transactions with India.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and ordered the reimposition of sanctions on Iran in the coming months. “Containment” has long been Washington’s traditional strategy when it comes to Iran, and to advance this strategy the United States has compelled governments and businesses to abide by its unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

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