EU asks India to bring Iran for nuclear talks

The European Union wants India to draw Iran into talks over its nuclear program but said strong approve are also needed, European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy has said on Friday, as Asia’s third-largest economy aims to increase trade with Tehran.

India has smacked a disobedient tone over new financial sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union to punish Iran for the nuclear program, seeking to increase trade and barter preparations to pay for oil supplies.

Van Rompuyhas told that India and the European Union diverged on the issue of sanctions, but that both wanted talks to resume on the nuclear issue. “On the position of Iran, we have at least one common line that is we have to find a solution by diplomatic means. We have to negotiate on Iran’s nuclear program,” Van Rompuy has said after a trade summit in New Delhi where he called on India to use its strong economic ties to draw Tehran into talks.

“In order to achieve that result, you need more pressure on Iran, more sanctions on Iran,” he has told.

As well as deep historical ties, India and Iran have shared interests that include the constancy of Afghanistan as Western powers draw down their troops. India is now Iran’s main oil customer, even though it has branched out imports lately because of the payments problems thrown up by new sanctions.

At an earlier news conference, Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh has said that the nuclear issue needs to be resolved through diplomacy and defended buying Iran’s oil. “Iran is a close neighbor. It is an important source for our energy,” he has stated.

“There are problems with Iran nuclear program. We sincerely believe that this issue can be and should be determined by giving maximum scope to diplomacy,” Singh has hoped. On the eve of the summit, India’s trade secretary, Rahul Khullar, said there was no reason why India should not take advantage of business occasion arising as European companies have reduce sales to Iran.

Iran is turning to exchange – offering gold bullion in overseas vaults or tankerloads of oil – in return for food as the new sanctions kick in, hurting its ability to import basic staples for its 74 million people.

A large delegation of Indian businessmen is heading to Tehran in the next few weeks to discover new trade occasion India observes UN sanctions but was still free to trade a vast range of products with Iran, Khullar has told.

Reuter’s surveys of commodities traders around the globe show that since the start of the year, Iran has had trouble securing imports of basic staples like rice, cooking oil, animal feed and tea. Grain ships have been held at its ports; decline to unload until payment can be received for cargo.

Difficulty paying for urgent import needs has donate to sharp rises in the prices of basic foodstuffs, causing hardships for Iranians with just weeks to go before an election seen as a referendum on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s economic strategy.

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