September 20, 2018 / 11:36 AM / 7 months ago

India engages with U.S. to ensure energy security amid Iran sanctions

A man holds the flags of India and the U.S. while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade in New York August 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is engaged with the United States and other stakeholders to ensure its energy security and national interest, the foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday, as Washington is set to tighten sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking sector.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and ordered the renewal of U.S. sanctions. Some sanctions took effect on Aug. 6, while those affecting the oil and banking sectors will start from Nov. 4.

India is closely monitoring the development and assessing the implication of the U.S. sanctions, Raveesh Kumar said.

India, Iran’s leading oil client after China, is also developing the Chabahar Port in the Middle Eastern nation.

“Chabahar is a very important project for us, not only for access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, but also for Afghanistan itself,” he said, adding that the development of the port figured in the high-level talks between India and the United States in New Delhi earlier this month.

“I can say this discussion has led to a better understanding by the United States of our objectives, concerns, sensitivities and expectations,” he added.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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