0447 GMT January 20, 2019
The ministry’s spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Zarif, heading a high-ranking political and economic delegation, is going to hold talks on the expansion of Iran-India relations and on the latest regional and international developments.
The Iranian foreign minister will meet India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as his counterpart, Sushma Swaraj.
Zarif’s tour of India comes at a time of intensified diplomatic efforts to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the wake of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and imposed new sanctions against Tehran.
Last week, Reuters quoted head of finance of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s top refiner, as saying that his company will turn to its traditional oil suppliers, mostly in the Middle East, if the US sanctions against Iran result in supply disruptions.
“So far we haven’t cut any volumes from Iran. We have to see how strongly the US takes up sanctions. From our side, we would like to continue. Otherwise we will look to our traditional suppliers,” A.K. Sharma said.
IOC, which controls 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity or about a third of India’s overall capacity, plans to buy 140,000 bpd of Iranian oil in 2018/19 and has an option to buy an additional 40,000 bpd.