‘We're not obliged to follow U.S., E.U. sanctions'

The BRICS nations on Wednesday refused to sever their trade relations with Iran, stating that they were not obliged to follow nuclear sanctions imposed by the United States or the European Union against Tehran.

This was one of the major issues that came up for discussion during the meeting of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Trade Ministers being held in New Delhi, a day ahead of the BRICS summit. “Yes, this was discussed. All BRICS members are members of the UNSC [United Nations Security Council]. We respect U.N. resolutions but at the same time the resolution does not forbid countries to engage in trade in essential commodities and what is required for human good,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said during a joint press conference addressed by the BRICS Trade Ministers.

China's Trade and Commerce Minister Chen Deming said his country was not obliged to follow the domestic laws and rules of any particular country. He said the rising crude oil prices had left a negative impact on the BRICS nations as well as the global economy.

‘Pragmatic view'

Mr. Sharma said Iran was an important source of energy. “Spiralling oil prices have put stress on India's finances. Therefore, we look at things in a very pragmatic manner and remaining within the ambit of the U.N. resolution,” he said. India imports 12 per cent of its oil from Iran while China depends on the Iranian crude to the extent of 20 per cent of its requirements.

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