“From our side we explained the Indian position, particularly the need to maintain land-based access to Afghanistan. We explained the need for us to have the Chabahar Port link, and from there the rail corridor to Afghanistan. This is especially in the context of Pakistan denying us access through land,” Sitharaman said, the Indian daily, Business Standard, reported.
US President Donald Trump reinstated a number of sanctions on Iran which his predecessor Barack Obama had tried to dismantle. The latest sanctions were intended to force Iran to dramatically alter its policies in the region and its development of ballistic missiles. The US has said it will impose sanctions on whoever deals with Iran.
Sitharaman explained that India’s relation with Iran was a strategic one, especially regarding the Chabahar Port and the corridor to Afghanistan. Iran’s only deep sea port and the rail links leading out of it have been constructed and developed with India’s help.
For his part, Mnuchin said the United Sates has been working with allies, especially in the Middle East, to ensure there is enough oil supply to offset the sanctions against Iran. “We are sensitive to the fact that India has tremendous energy needs. We look forward to working with India on liquefied natural gas,” he said.
India, a long-time buyer of Iranian oil, halted purchases in May in the wake of renewed US sanctions, and its refiners are now buying more crude oil from some suppliers, including Mexico, and signed new contracts with US firms, the report added.
“We are working together to promote growth and promote economic security in both of our countries. I look forward to the Indian government’s goal of reaching to a $5 trillion economy, I think that they will hit that goal even faster than they expect, with what are great economic opportunities as they promote growth,” Mnuchin said.