India, Iran looking at European assurances on US sanctions


India and Iran are looking closely at European assurances that can salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iranian nuclear deal, sources have told The Indian Express.
Enthused at the Indian government granting approval to an Iranian bank recently after almost 8-9 years of waiting, the two sides are also looking at “different banking mechanisms” to overcome the sanctions imposed by the US.
These issues were discussed during the bilateral meeting between visiting deputy Seyyed Abbas Araghchi and Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale Monday. Araghchi, one of Tehran’s negotiators for the nuclear deal with P5+1 countries, also met Minister of State (External Affairs) M J Akbar.
These discussions also took place ahead of Delhi’s discussions with the US on sanctions on Iran and Russia.
Sources said both sides are looking at “experiences” from the past — when Iran was under sanctions by the US, UN and European Union — and want to develop banking mechanism to deal with the impending sanctions.
The first set of sanctions are set to kick in on August 6, which will cover banking channels, and the second set will kick in November, which will cover other areas like petroleum, insurance, infrastructure etc.The restrictions were announced in May when the US withdrew from JCPOA. Other signatories to the deal —Russia, China, Germany, Britain, and France — have refused to leave the nuclear agreement and introduce sanctions against the country.
“While in the past, Europe and UN were also imposing sanctions, this time only US is imposing them. Europeans assured us that they will work out solutions. We will wait and see…” a source said.
What Europe does will affect India’s oil imports from Iran, as well as Chabahar port project. “Both are very strategic. We hope European guarantees translate into outcomes,” the source said.