Unilateral sanctions shouldn’t impact legitimate trade with Iran: India (Lead)May 31st, 2012 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Against the backdrop of US pressure to reduce oil imports from Iran, India Thursday described it as “a key country” for its energy needs and underlined that unilateral sanctions should not impact upon its “legitimate trade interests” with Tehran.External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna held talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi here on a wide range of issues that included Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, bilateral economic ties, energy cooperation and terrorism.
Barely a month before the US and EU sanctions against Tehran become operational, Krishna stressed that India has always abided by the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on the Iran issue, but indicated New Delhi’s unease with unilateral sanctions
“As far as other sanctions, those decided unilaterally or regionally, we are aware of such measures. In a globalised world, these actions can have an impact on the markets,” he said.
“Our commercial entities take these into account. Such measures should not impact on legitimate trade interests,” Krishna said at a joint press conference with Salehi.
In remarks that will be closely scrutinized in Western capitals, Krishna said Iran is “an important neighbour and crucial trade partner for India and also a major source of our energy supplies”.
“It is also a gateway for India to Central Asia. India and Iran share an interest in the stability of Central Asia and the Gulf. We also face threats from terrorism and extremism.”
Pitching for greater economic and energy ties with India, the Iranian foreign minister said: “Iran is a reliable partner for reliable energy source for India, which has growing energy needs.”
“India should look for resources that are reliable. Iran will remain a reliable partner for India,” Salehi added.
India currently imports around 10-11 per cent of its oil requirements from Iran and has marginally reduced its imports as it seeks to diversify its energy sources. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is understood to have taken up the issue with Krishna during her visit to New Delhi May 8. It is expected to again figure in discussions when Krishna goes to Washington for the India-US strategic dialogue June 12.
The U.S sanctions against Iran’s central bank are scheduled to take effect on June 28, and the European Union’s oil embargo on is due on July 1.
Lauding India’s commitment to non-alignment, Salehi also announced that he had come here as the special envoy of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad to extend an invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit to be held in Tehran in August. He will personally hand over the invite to Manmohan Singh Friday.
Salehi also updated Krishna on the recent discussions between Iran and the P5+1 in Baghdad on Tehran’s nuclear programme. India reiterated that the Iranian issue should be resolved through diplomacy.
“India has always held that the nuclear issue should be resolved through diplomacy and the framework of the IAEA provides the best forum to address the technical aspects of the issue,” Krishna said.
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Tags: ali akbar, central asia, commercial entities, economic ties, energy cooperation, energy source, external affairs minister, iranian foreign minister, krishna, legitimate trade, nations security council, oil imports, reliable energy, resolutions of the united nations security council, trade interests, trade partner, unilateral sanctions, united nations security, united nations security council, western capitals