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In stitching a complex oil-for-food deal, India sets about placating Iran

Also woos Saudi Arabia with new petroleum diplomacy, while trying to soothe a vexed US, in an interesting coordination effort between external and other ministries

India is finally plunging into the oil politics of the Gulf and West Asia. It sent a team of senior officials from the commerce ministry to Iran around a fortnight earlier, to clinch an oil-for-food deal. And, is beginning to woo the Sunni oil kingdoms in the region, led by none other than Saudi Arabia. Arvind Mehta, joint secretary in the ministry of commerce and as many as 70 members of the government-backed Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) met their counterparts in Teheran in an attempt to clinch a $1billion deal to sell rice, wheat, tea and pharmaceuticals to Iran, so as ...