New Delhi (Sputnik) — Expediting the formation of a mechanism to withstand US sanctions, India and Iran have discussed various options, including Rupee-Rial trade, so that bilateral trade between the two countries continues without a blip.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj sat for talks in New Delhi on various regional and international issues on Monday.
"During the talks, the two sides also exchanged views on a further expansion of ties in banking, energy, trade, insurance, shipping, use of national currencies, Chabahar projects and Chabahar-Zahedan railway," the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.
Fruitful visit to #India, building on achievements of President Rouhani's state visit in Feb. Productive meetings on energy, banking, transportation and commerce. Excellent substantive concluding meeting with my counterpart and delegations. Resolved to expand ties in all fields. pic.twitter.com/4thQiVcprm— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) May 28, 2018
Swaraj said "all parties to the agreement should engage constructively for peaceful resolution of the issues," according to a statement issued by India's Ministry of External Affairs.
Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier. India's private, as well as public sector, oil refiners are heavily dependent on cheap Iranian crude. Indian refiners bought a record 27.2 million tons of Iranian crude during the last financial year, which ended in March 2018, a whopping 114 percent increase over the previous year.
During the economic sanctions against Tehran laid out by the Obama administration in 2012, India and Iran had to make alternative arrangements, including barter system. India imported $10.5 billion worth of goods, mainly crude oil, and exported commodities worth $2.4 billion.