Iran Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives in India

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This comes after the United States President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actionm, which limited Iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief. "It is too early to come to a conclusion on implications of U.S. withdrawing from JCPOA", MEA official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. "For the moment, basically, we have everything on hold".

The US alleges that Iran's intelligence ministry and the Revolutionary Guard maintain permanent wards at Evin, "where they hold political prisoners".

They don't seem to say so publicly in New Delhi, but I suspect India is also afraid that Trump will push Iran solidly into the China camp, creating a Sino-Muslim geopolitical bloc on India's northwest. Individuals and companies who do business with the targeted Iranians could face sanctions from Treasury as well.

"The current sanctions bill that was just signed in the law last fall doesn't really have much flexibility", IANS quoted Thornberry as saying. And Lukoil has said after previous rounds of US sanctions that the punitive measures were seriously impairing access to global financing by Lukoil and other Russian corporations.

India and the United States have been increasing defence co-operation and Predator Drones are one of the most eagerly anticipated acquisitions - especially because of its use in anti-terror operations.

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Responding to a question on how India would respond to possible U.S. sanctions on Iran, after the USA pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, Swaraj said India would only abide by sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not those imposed by any other country.

US Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin said the government had focused the sanctions on human rights because "Iran not only exports terrorism and instability across the world, it routinely violates the rights of its own people".

"Our foreign policy is not made under pressure from other countries", Ms. Swaraj told journalists at a press conference. The US is already the largest arms seller to India.

For his part, the Iranian Foreign Minister thanked India's principled stance in support of the JCPOA and briefed his Indian counterpart on efforts underway to preserve the deal.

Iranian crude exports hit a record high of 2.6 million barrels a day in April, before the USA withdrawal announcement. India is looking at developing Iran's Chabahar port as a gateway to enter landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia bypassing Pakistan.

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