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India determined to save nuclear deal: Iran’s deputy FM

New Delhi, Iran's deputy foreign minister said India is determined to save the nuclear deal Tehran and major world powers signed in 2015.

'Given the recent move by the US to withdraw from the nuclear deal, and its repercussions for Iran-India relations, the deal was a hot topic of the meetings with Indian officials,' Abbas Araqchi, who was visiting India, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Monday.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, France, Britain, China, and Russia) plus Germany signed the nuclear deal in 2015. Iran accepted to curb its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief.

The US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May, calling it the worst deal ever. Washington has also re-imposed the economic sanctions the first set of which will take effect on August 6.

'India is one of the biggest customers of Iran's crude; therefore, its needs and Iran's demand are in favor of the two countries' oil trade continuation,' the Iranian diplomat said.

Iran is a trustworthy oil suppliers to its customers, including India, and its policies are focused on the continuation of the trade, the diplomat said, but the US sanctions have caused problems for the trade.

During the talks, solutions to the problems, including oil sale, delivery, tankers, insurance and the return of oil revenues to Iran were discussed in details, Araqchi said.

He visited the southern Asian country primarily to attend the 15th round of Iran-India political talks.

'We are talking with other countries, including those in Europe, China and Russia, parallel to the Indian talks,' the Iranian diplomat said, expressing hope that the results will be in line with the continuation of the trades, as well as Iran's demands from the JCPOA with regard to sanctions relief, particularly on oil and banking.

Araqchi, who was the senior nuclear negotiator in the talks leading to the deal, said that his impression of the meetings with Indian officials was that New Delhi, like the Europeans, China and Russia, is determined in saving the deal.

The meetings also covered some other topics, including Iran's Chabahar Port development and Chabahar-Zahedan rail way, according to the Iranian official.

'There is no major problem on the projects, and the only obstacles are caused by a third party, the US,' he said.

'As to Afghanistan, we had talks, as Iran and India share interests and concerns,' Araqchi said in a reference to the rise of terrorist group of Daesh (ISIS) in Afghanistan.

He also noted that meetings and forums with experts, analysts and officials of Indian foreign ministry at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) have been productive.

'There is no doubt that all countries cooperating with Iran are determined to save the deal, and stress to find ways to secure Iran's benefits within the deal's framework; the fact that shows the US isolation.'

'The solution is to make efforts to keep trades without being affected by the US pressures,' Araqchi said emphasizing that the solution is quite feasible.

Washington has urged India to halt its oil imports from Iran by November 4 when the oil sanctions will take effect.

Araqchi visit to India is of great importance since it is the only country that is not a signatory to the deal, but firmly defends it.

This was the second visit by Iranian officials since the US withdrawal from the deal in May.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif has previously visited India and held talks with Indian officials.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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