Russia, India vow to keep ‘beneficial’ trade with Iran despite sanctions
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Russia, India vow to keep ‘beneficial’ trade with Iran despite sanctions

In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, the two emerging economic powers said trade with Iran was both beneficial and legitimate for them, saying economic cooperation with Tehran should continue. The two countries said their decision to respect ties with Iran was in full compliance with international rules and would strengthen a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, known as the JCPOA, which has suffered since the United States withdrew from the agreement last year and began imposing sanction on Iran. “The sides acknowledge the importance of full and efficient implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program for ensuring regional and international peace, security and stability,” read part of the joint statement which came after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East. Both India and Russia have largely ignored US sanctions on Iran since they were enacted in November and then toughened in May. The two countries have used alternative mechanisms to circumvent the sanctions and to continue trade with Iran. Russia has a close cooperation with Iran in defense industry and energy sectors. Reports on Wednesday indicated that the country is planning to invest up to $10 billion in Iran’s oil projects. Moscow is also granting Iran a $1.2 billion loan for construction of a major power plant south of the country. India, Iran’s second top buyer of oil before the sanctions, has diversified its trade cooperation with Tehran mainly thanks to a financial mechanism that enables importers and exporters to settle their payments through local currencies. India has also been involved in a series of large-scale infrastructure projects southeast of Iran as it seeks greater access through the country to markets in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Europe.

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