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Iran seeking to outlast US sanctions with the help of trade partners


Iran seeking to outlast US sanctions with the help of trade partners

Photo: AP/Vahid Salemi

Along with the foreign ministers of Australia and Spain, Iran’s Mohammed Javad Zarif will today address India’s flagship geopolitical conference: the Raisina Dialogue.

With a program dominated by Westerners—and barely a Chinese official in sight—Mr Zarif’s presence at Raisina highlights the prominence of the relationship between Iran and India.

Despite the re-imposition of US sanctions in November, New Delhi continues to import up to 300,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day under a sanctions waiver agreement reached with Washington. This makes India Iran’s second-largest oil market after China, an influential position given Tehran’s semi-pariah status. In December it was revealed that money from India’s oil purchases was being deposited in a smattering of Indian banks, with the funds used to purchase essential goods for import to Iran.

Such sanction-evading tactics demonstrate Tehran’s efforts to rely on economic relationships with countries committed to upholding the Iran nuclear deal—particularly China, Russia, India and the EU. The logic in the Islamic Republic goes that if Iran’s economy can keep ticking along until 2020, there’s a reasonable chance a Democrat will be elected to the White House, and thus the lifting of sanctions. The risk, of course, is that Mr Trump will be returned for a second term.

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