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Iran foreign minister to meet Sushma Swaraj today with focus on nuclear deal

The Iranian foreign ministry in a release said, "Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, will travel to the Indian capital of New Delhi..to hold talks with Indian officials."

Iran foreign minister to meet Sushma Swaraj today with focus on nuclear deal

New Delhi: Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, is in the national capital, and will be meeting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday. He arrived in Delhi late on Monday night. The focus of his meet will be to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The visit is also significant as tensions rise in West Asia due to Tehran-Washington showdown. The Iranian foreign ministry in a release said, "Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, will travel to the Indian capital of New Delhi..to hold talks with Indian officials."

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During his tour, the Iranian FM will also visit other foreign capitals and brief about the deal, from which the US withdrew in 2018. Tehran is banking on the European Union (EU) to save the deal now. Replying to a question, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini on Monday said, "As long as Iran remains compliant, we remain committed to implementing the Nuclear Deal and our stand is that the IAEA remains the only body to verify on Iran's compliance."

Import of Iranian oil will also be up for discussion when Zarif meets Sushma since US waivers to Delhi on Iran sanctions came to end earlier in May. Iran is one of the supplier of crude oil to India. The India-Iran bilateral trade during the fiscal year 2016-17 was USD 12.89 billion with India importing USD 10.5 billion worth of goods mainly crude oil. But this is likely to change soon as New Delhi along with other countries has been asked by the US to bring oil imports from Iran to zero.

This is Zarif's second visit to India this year. He met Minister of State External Affairs Gen VK Singh in Doha at the ministerial meeting of Asian Cooperation Dialogue on May 1.