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Sanket Telang asked: How Should India deal with recent sanctions imposed by UN, US, EU on Iran? What methods can India adopt to protect her interests in Iran?

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  • Arvind Gupta replies: The impact of the latest round of UN sanctions on India-Iran relations will at best be moderate. However, US and EU sanctions could affect some Indian companies engaged with Iran in the energy sector. India will have to follow the UN resolution imposing sanctions on Iran. Iran is strategically important to India. We must, therefore, continuously engage Iran. This is already happening. Iran's Foreign Minister visited India in November 2009; India's Foreign Secretary visited Tehran in February 2010; India's Minister of External Affairs visited Iran in May 2010 and called on his counterpart as well as President Ahmadinejad. India imported 22 million tonnes of crude oil worth $10 billion in 2009. India-Iran trade during 2008-09 was $13 billion. There are a number of joint ventures between the two countries. The next meeting of India-Iran Joint Economic Commission is being held in New Delhi in July 2010. As a result of this engagement, it is hoped that India will be able to protect its interests in Iran despite sanctions imposed by the UN, US and EU.