India, Iran looking at European assurances on U.S. sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The government is yet to take decision on cutting import of oil from Iran in compliance with the USA sanctions.

Pompeo, also speaking to reporters on Friday, said he had discussed us plans to reimpose sanctions on Iran with "all but one" country. US sanctions against Iran are likely to be raised in his talks on the sidelines of the event.

The U.S. has rejected requests from a group of ministers from Germany, France, the United Kingdom to provide exemptions to sanctions on Iran for certain industries.

In May, the Trump administration had pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and brought back economic sanctions against Tehran.

India and Iran on Monday deliberated ways to deal with the possible impact on oil trade between the two countries due to the USA sanctions on import of Iranian petroleum products.

Japan's biggest bank, MUFG Bank Ltd, will halt all Iran-related transactions to comply with the imposition of USA sanctions, according to a document seen by Reuters on Thursday.

While ending purchases from Iran will cost India savings on shipping costs and the longest credit period offered by any of its suppliers, there are gains to be had from paring the trade surplus with the U.S. - at the heart of Trump's trade war with China.

US President Donald Trump reiterated on the same day in an interview with Fox News that the nuclear deal with Iran the US withdrew from in May "is good for a lot of countries that do business with Iran, but it is not good for this country [U.S.] and it is not ultimately good for the world".

Meanwhile, the USA and Israel reportedly formed a joint working group a few months ago to focus on fomenting, or at least encouraging, internal unrest in Iran.

India is expected to push hard for such measures, or barring that a move by the U.S. to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep oil prices from sky-rocketing when Iran is cut off.

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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.

Indian Oil Corp., the South Asian nation's biggest refiner, is working on possibilities of entering into term contracts for U.S. volumes, instead of the current practice of purchasing from the spot market, Chairman Sanjiv Singh said in an interview.

"The State Department has the ability to issue waivers around significant reductions in the oil markets".

"What they've asked us to do is review how we get there and the timeline for that", he said.

"The US is focused on boosting its hydrocarbon exports to India", said Interfax's Kumar. "Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of USA contempt for diplomacy & legal obligations".

The court could not be reached for comment.

The likely return of USA economic sanctions has triggered a rapid fall of Iran's currency and protests by bazaar traders usually loyal to the Islamist rulers.

Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing allies on June 23 to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a "measurable" supply boost, but giving no specific numbers.

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