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Iran Turns to Traditional Partners As EU Tarries On Bypassing US Sanctions

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Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is working with its traditional partners such as China, Russia and India to circumvent the US sanctions.

Zarif told reporters in New Delhi Tuesday that the European Union is moving more slowly than expected to facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran through a mechanism called the special purpose vehicle (SPV).

"We continue to work with the Europeans for the special purpose vehicle but we will not wait for them [to act]," said Zarif who arrived in the Indian capital late Monday for a three-day visit.

"We are working with our traditional partners like India, China and Russia so that we continue to serve the interests of our people," he added.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said last Wednesday that efforts to implement the special purpose vehicle for trade with Iran would continue well into 2019.

So far, the Europeans have defaulted on two deadlines which they had announced for bringing the SPV into operation. The vehicle purportedly aims to ensure economic benefits for Iran from staying in a 2015 nuclear deal after President Donald Trump recanted it in May.

On Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Iran “holds Europe definitely responsible for failing to implement the financial mechanism," warning that the bloc should account for the "consequences" of the delay.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said last Wednesday that efforts to implement the special purpose vehicle for trade with Iran would continue well into 2019.

So far, the Europeans have defaulted on two deadlines which they had announced for bringing the SPV into operation. The vehicle purportedly aims to ensure economic benefits for Iran from staying in a 2015 nuclear deal after President Donald Trump recanted it in May.

On Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Iran “holds Europe definitely responsible for failing to implement the financial mechanism," warning that the bloc should account for the "consequences" of the delay.

Indian refiners to resume Iran oil imports

On Monday, Indian industry sources said state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp will each import 1 million barrels of Iranian oil in February after a gap of three months, taking the nation’s overall purchases from Tehran to 9 million barrels.

Top refiner Indian Oil Corp will lift 5 million barrels, while Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd will buy 2 million barrels, Reuters quoted the sources as saying.

Earlier this month, New Delhi exempted rupee payments by Indian Oil Corp to Iran for crude oil imports from steep taxes.

“Iran has been and will be a reliable source of oil supply to India,” Zarif said on Monday as he arrived in New Delhi to take part in an annual research forum attended by economists and entrepreneurs.

Zarif said he had used the opportunity to bring along “a big economic delegation” comprising of representatives from the private and state sectors for talks with their Indian counterparts.

Iran and India, the minister said, have maintained their good relations in the wake of the resumed US sanctions.

He cited “a good banking agreement with India which was signed following the sanctions, through which imports and exports as well as other financial needs will be handled.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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