India in discussions with Iran over Red Sea attacks – official sources

India is holding diplomatic talks with Iran and taking other measures to help shield its exporters from the impact of attacks on ships in the Red Sea by the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen. The attacks have disrupted supply chains between Asia and Europe. The Houthis have threatened to expand the attacks to include US ships. Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar held talks in Iran to address the Red Sea situation. The defense ministry has improved surveillance in the region and the ministry of external affairs is diplomatically negotiating the issue. The finance ministry’s banking division will make it easier for affected exporters to get credit. The idea is to ensure credit flow to exporters is maintained, as cargoes are getting delayed and transit is costing more. India’s defense ministry is providing protective escorts to Indian container ships and the navy has responded to attacks and hijacking attempts on merchant vessels. Trade volumes from major ports have not been affected so far, but ships are taking longer routes to avoid the attacks. Ship and tug boats are seen at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen February 1, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/ABDULJABBAR ZEYAD)