India and USA sign military deal amid tensions over Iran sanctions

07 September, 2018, 19:30 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • US tries to seal new defence pact with India

But with trade and strategic ties growing quickly between the USA and India, both countries have been eager to downplay potential diplomatic troubles.

Despite Trump's efforts, government officials in India, the world's third biggest oil importer and Iran's top oil client after China, have been talking about wanting to continue trade ties, especially for oil, with Iran.

"He has also valued the United States as an advocate for India's permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, sought out access to cyber security cooperation to ensure progress in a growing e-commerce sector, acknowledged a growing reliance on the USA liquified natural gas to bring clean energy to an overly polluted country, and emphasized a mutual commitment to democratic values", Roemer wrote. "We are all, of course, looking for how can we enhance stability in South Asia", he said.

The Americans are also believed to have come to terms with India building a port in Iran's Chabahar, thereby busting US-led sanctions against Iran - clearly, the Indian port-building will be carried out with United States permission.

The contradictions are such that Prime Minister Modi's office waffled in drafting its press release on his hour-long conversation with the two visiting heavyweights from Washington.

Swaraj said India and the United States "agreed to work together to secure India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the earliest".

"The momentum in our defense partnership has imbued a tremendous positive energy that has elevated India-U.S. relations to unprecedented heights", Sitharaman said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj attend a joint news conference after a meeting in New Delhi, India, September 6, 2018.

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"The landmark agreement deepens our military to military cooperation and our ability to share the most advanced defense technology, making us both stronger", Mattis said.

Sitharaman in her opening remarks said that defense cooperation has become one of the most significant dimensions of the countries' relationship.

The U.S. and India haven't always been this close.

In exchange, the USA committed to helping India become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and turn a blind eye to Delhi building the Chabahar port in Iran, and the purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russian Federation as part of a $6 billion (Rs 40,000 crore) deal. Delhi is buoyed by the fact that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo read the diplomatic version of the riot act to Pakistan en route to Delhi.

The day began on Thursday with separate bilateral meetings between the defence and foreign policy heads of India and the United States at the respective ministries in Delhi. "They are meant to be a have an impact on the sanctioned country, which is Russian Federation".

None of the four officials who spoke to reporters after the summit but did not take questions mentioned whether the S-400 issue had come up.

"This government is pragmatic", Mohan said.

The foreign minister said the agreement would also speed up India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an organization of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials. The visit came days after the United States announced cutting $300 million military aid to Pakistan.

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