Decision on oil imports after Lok Sabha elections, India tells Iran

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The external affairs ministry issued a brief statement, saying Ms Swaraj and Mr Zarif "held constructive discussions on all bilateral issues of mutual interest" and that there was a "good exchange of views on the evolving regional situation, including Afghanistan".

It may be recalled that the United States had earlier given six-month waivers to eight countries including India, China, Japan and South Korea for exemption from the November 4 deadline a year ago of stopping Iranian oil imports completely. It didn't give any details.

According to reports, India is one of the eight countries which were exempted from a US-imposed ban on Iranian oil imports.

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India, Iran's top oil client after China, has by all indications suspended imports of Iranian oil from this month, though there has been no official word.

With the USA linking its help in getting Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee to India ending oil purchases from Iran, the Modi government has little room to negotiate at this point.

Washington has renewed sanctions to eliminate all Iranian oil revenue, which it says funds destabilizing activity throughout the Middle East and beyond. Zarif's visit to New Delhi comes within days of the United States ending its waiver to India that allowed it to buy Iranian oil without facing American sanctions.

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The US waivers has ended on May 1.

Indo-Iran ties have been on a upswing in the last few years.

In her meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Swaraj said the decision on the oil imports will be taken after the elections. He sought India's investment in these areas, as well as in industry and mining. This project is unlikely to be hit by the US sanctions on Iran.

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