Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will discuss with his Indian counterpart on May 14 India’s decision to stop importing Iranian oil due to the renewed US sanctions on Tehran, Reuters reported.

India was Iran’s top oil client after China but halted imports after the US did not renew the given waivers.

“India is one of our most important partners, economic, political and regional,” Zarif told Reuters.

“Unfortunately, the United States has been escalating the situation unnecessarily. We do not seek escalation, but we have always defended ourselves,” Zarif said.

The sanctions have more than halved Iran’s oil exports to 1 million barrels per day (b/d) or less, from a peak of 2.8 million b/d last year.