‘Not helpful’: US tells India on Iran, Russia ties
WASHINGTON: As a top US official headed to New Delhi for talks on Iran sanctions, a state department spokesperson said “it’s not helpful” to note that India plans to continue buying Iranian oil and Russian S-400 air defence systems, both subject to secondary sanctions from the US under separate laws.
The spokesperson’s observation on Thursday came a day after President Donald Trump told reporters that India would find out “sooner than you think” about his decision on whether to impose sanctions on a $5.4-billion S-400 deal with Russia. He also said the US would “take care of” reported plans by India and China to continue buying Iranian crude after sanctions kick in on November 5. State department spokesperson Heather Nauert added a new edge to Trump’s comments, saying:
“When we hear about things such as purchasing oil or purchasing S-400 systems, it’s not helpful”.
“The US government just reviews that very carefully,” she added. The state department announced on Thursday that the special representative on Iran, Brian Hook, accompanied by assistant secretary of state for energy Francis Fannon, will meet “Indian government counterparts for consultations”.