US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and told him that it was important that India cut its dependence on Iranian oil. She also assured the prime minister that the United States would work to allow India to use an Iranian port as a corridor to Afghanistan, Reuters reported. The new demands indicate the extreme push of the Trump government in levelling sanctions against the Iranian regime.
During the meeting, the two discussed ways to enhance India-US cooperation including on counter-terrorism & in multilateral fora, news agency ANI reported. The United States has told countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November and is unlikely to offer any exemptions, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on allies to cut off funding to Iran.
The new development comes amid India’s closeness with Iran in developing the strategically important Chabahar port to improve trade with Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan in the process. Haley, however, cleared that a trade war with India ‘wasn’t an option’ for the Trump administration.
Before meeting the prime minister, Haley visited the Humayun’s Tomb and met with Noble laureate Kailash Satyarthi. After meeting with Satyrathi, Haley tweeted, “Visited @K_Satyarthi supported children’s shelter to discuss the challenges of child labor, trafficking & sexual abuse. We heard many stories from children who thankfully have been freed & encouraged them to pay it forward by helping children in similar situations.”
The involvement of Indian interest in numerous issues, along with the Paris climate deal, makes her visit significant. “Haley’s visit will tackle global issues, and the Trump administration’s pullout from the JCPOA is expected to figure during her discussions with Indian officials,” sources said.
Haley also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the day.