Iranian leaders are working with U.S. allies to explore options for working around sanctions from the Donald Trump administration following the U.S.’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Leaders in Iran disclosed Tuesday that they recently held high-level meetings with European Union nations and leaders from India and Thailand. Some U.S. lawmakers are working on confronting those countries to make sure they face repercussions if they breach U.S. sanction law, the Free Beacon reported.
"In addition to the EU, we are improving relations with other countries, especially the neighbors," said Mohammad Baqher Nobakht, Iranian government spokesman, in Iran’s state-controlled press, the Free Beacon reported.
The State Department also is working to build a counter-coalition that would isolate Iran and any nation that works with them to work around sanctions, officials told the Free Beacon.
An official in the U.S. State Department told the Free Beacon that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is working with allies to counteract the "totality of Iran’s malign activity."
"We will be sending out teams of diplomats and specialists to talk about specific concerns with the plan for re-imposition of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions and next steps with Iran," the official said.
India and China have promised to continue buying Iranian crude oil despite Trump administration sanctions. "A major part of the oil is sold to India and China… we are also in talks with Europe to continue oil sales to them, and Iran’s increased oil sales to them has even been under discussion with them to compensate any drop if some states decrease oil imports," Nobakht said, the Free Beacon reported.
"India will comply with UN sanctions and not any country-specific sanctions," said foreign minister Sushma Swaraj at a press conference Monday, Bloomberg reported.
India is "going out of its way to alienate members of Congress, including many who have been sympathetic and trying to help them… it’s very troubling," said a senior congressional official, the Free Beacon reported.
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