‘Not help­ful’: US tells In­dia on Iran, Rus­sia ties

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

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”.

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