India needs to engage with Russia "very strongly" in managing the American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, former foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said today and asserted that keeping Iranian oil on the global market was in India's interest.
Speaking at the launch of a report by the Observer Research Foundation, Mathai said that the US withdrawal was also part of President Donald Trump's attempts to shake up the world order in pursuit of of American interests.
The report titled 'Beyond JCPOA: Examining the consequences of US withdrawal' also makes policy recommendations on the issue.
Among the recommendations, it suggests that India should seek waivers from US secondary sanctions when it comes to the purchase of crude petroleum, as well as development of its natural gas projects in Iran.
The strongest case for a waiver for India is that, over the last couple of years, it has indeed reduced its oil imports from Iran. However, it should be prepared to approach the issue as quid pro quo with the US, the report says.
India's approach to mitigating the negative externalities of the US withdrawal from JCPOA should be phased, starting with negotiations with the US and, if this is to not bear fruit, it must look at other options along with Russia, China, and the European Union, the report suggests.
The Trump administration brought back sanctions against Iran after pulling out the US from the Iran nuclear deal in May. The US has told India and other countries to cut oil imports from the Gulf nation to "zero" by November 4 or face sanctions.
India is yet to take a call on complying with the US sanctions on Iran.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)