New Delhi [India]: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here on Tuesday.
The meeting between the two foreign ministers comes in the wake of heightened diplomatic tension between Iran and the United States after Washington on April 22 announced that no fresh sanction waivers will be issued for Iranian oil imports to eight countries, including India.
Zarif, who is on a two-day visit to India, had said the US is escalating tensions ‘unnecessarily’.
“Unfortunately the United States has been escalating the situation unnecessarily. We do not seek escalation but we have always defended ourselves,” he had told ANI soon after arriving in India.
After the US’ announcement, India, the second largest buyer of Iranian oil after China, had said it was adequately prepared to deal with the impact of the decision to end waiver.
Three of the eight countries who received the waivers, namely Greece, Italy, and Taiwan, have already reduced their Iranian oil imports to zero.
On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had said that the country could see economic conditions worse than what prevailed during the 1980-88 war with Iraq, due to ‘unprecedented pressure’ from international sanctions.