Zarif, Sushma to meet for talks on Monday

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Swaraj later met Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, where they discussed Trump's plan to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Iranian officials are plotting with USA allies across the globe to develop a series a measures meant to counter new sanctions by the Trump administration following its abandonment of the landmark nuclear deal, setting up a global economic showdown between America and its allies over their future business dealings with the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian Foreign Minister visited China, Russia and some European countries in the last three weeks after President Donald Trump announced Washington's withdrawal from the deal which was signed by the Obama administration.

The influence of China on Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, considered a backyard of India, has been growing and it is seen as a concern in New Delhi. Swaraj said that apart from reaching out to Indians living overseas, the ministry has also tried to connect with the masses in the country.

Trump also said he would reinstate United States nuclear sanctions on Iran suspended under the nuclear accord and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

"It is quite natural of this atmosphere to let Iran have different scenarios for continuing cooperation with its allies; so this visit had two major accomplishments; one was to recount our stances on United States withdrawal from the nuclear agreement of July 14, 2015, and the other to discuss mechanisms to continue trade and interaction between Iran and India", he affirmed.

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As for Saarc minus Pakistan, she said the South Asian bloc would not remain a grouping if a country went out.

During his visit, Foreign Minister Zarif will call upon Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Bhawan. India imported $10.5 billion worth of goods, mainly crude oil, and exported commodities worth $2.4 billion.

Likewise, India would like to tap into the gas and oil of Central Asia (Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in particular) and even Russian Federation through pipelines down through Iran to the planned Indian-run Chabahar port on Iran's Gulf coast.

The regional bloc focusing on security and trade also includes four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics and two new members, Pakistan and India.

As for the allegation that the MEA has shifted to Prime Minister's Office, Sushma Swaraj asked: "How am I answering all your questions if I do not know about the foreign policy as I only look after the Twitter handle?"

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