US and India have a goal of denying Iran the money it needs to destabilise the Middle East (File Photo)
The US and India have a goal of denying Iran the money it needs to destabilise the Middle East, a top American official said after his visit to New Delhi for talks over slashing India’s Iranian oil imports ahead of the November 4 deadline.
President Donald Trump in May pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear accord, saying it had “failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb” and did not deal with Tehran’s “malign activities, including its ballistic missile programme and its support for terrorism”.
In an attempt to compel Iran to agree to a new accord, Trump reinstated sanctions that targeted the Iranian government’s purchase of US dollars, Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, and its automotive sector.
On November 4, a second batch of potentially more crippling sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran’s oil and shipping sectors as well as its central bank. The US has asked buyers of Iranian oil to cut imports to zero starting in November.
Describing the meetings with the Indian officials on the Iranian oil purchase issue as good, the Special US envoy on Iran, Brian Hook, however refrained from giving details of his discussions.
“On the India meetings, I also met with the Indian delegation to the UN during, I mean in New York during the UN General Assembly. I continued those discussions in Delhi, very good meetings. And I can’t get into specifics in terms of the nature of that discussion,” Hook told reporters in Brussels following his India visit.
“But what I can say is we are, we do have a goal of denying Iran the money that it needs, and we find that there’s a lot, I mean, to kind of destabilize the Middle East,” he said in response to a question.
“We continue to find that many countries including India share our concerns, especially the non-proliferation concerns. And the sunset clauses for the United States are of paramount concern, and it’s something that needs to be addressed,” Hook said.
In public policy, a sunset provision or clause is a measure within a statute, regulation or other law that provides that the law shall cease to have effect after a specific date, unless further legislative action is taken to extend the law.
The top American envoy opposed the creation of special purpose vehicles by the Europeans for the oil purchase so as to avoid US sanctions.
“With respect to the Special Purpose Vehicle, Secretary of State Pompeo said that that vehicle sends the wrong message at the wrong time. We believe that the US and the EU should be working together to find enduring solutions that truly support the Iranian people,” he said.