India urges U.S. to "engage constructively" with Iran on Nuke deal

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj greets Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New Delhi on Monday

India will keep trading with Iran and Venezuela despite the threat of fallout from USA sanctions against the two countries, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday.

She was responding to a question on India's response to the United States withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, responding to a question on the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi told British PM Theresa May that United Kingdom courts asking about the condition of Indian jails is not right.

Iran is now the third largest oil supplier to India after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived here on Monday for talks in the wake of USA pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal, calling the agreement deeply flawed. Trade is one reason, given the robust market India provides for Iranian oil.

The 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers lifted worldwide sanctions on Tehran. "This is our position and there is no change in it", she said when asked about possibility of talks with Pakistan ahead of general elections in the country in July.

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In the letter, Iran's Zangeneh "underlined imposition of unlawful, unilateral and extraterritorial sanctions by the USA government on the Islamic Republic of Iran which clearly violate the worldwide agreement that had been endorsed by the UN Security Council", the Iranian oil ministry's news service Shana reported.

Iran has threatened to give petroleum giant Total's stake in the South Pars gas fields to China if the French company could not secure protection from US nuclear-related sanctions. India should partner other key democracies to push back with full diplomatic strength, including, if necessary, hauling the USA into the WTO dispute-resolution body and introducing a UN General Assembly resolution against unlawful extraterritorial sanctions. The trade turnover between India and Iran in 2016-1917 years was 12.9 billion. USA.

India has pledged to invest more than $500 million to develop the strategically important Chabahar Port, which is critical to India's outreach to Afghanistan and wider Central Asia.

As India gets set to purchase S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force from Russian Federation, all may not be well for Indo-US defence cooperation with questions being raised in Washington about New Delhi-Moscow bonhomie.

"The two sides positively assessed the implementation of decisions taken during the visit of President Rouhani to India. In ties with Maldives, whichever government has been in power (in India), there have been ups and downs", Swaraj said.

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj (R) and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif (R).

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