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Home / Business / India prepared to deal with the consequences of the end of apostasy from US sanctions on imports of Iranian oil: MEA

India prepared to deal with the consequences of the end of apostasy from US sanctions on imports of Iranian oil: MEA



NEW DELHI: As a six-month-long exemption from US sanctions to buy oil from Iran, India concluded on Thursday that it will address the problem based on three factors – the country's energy security, commercial considerations and financial interests.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said India was prepared to deal with the impact of the US decision.

Last month, US President Donald Trump decided not to continue with the exceptions that were extended to eight countries, including India, to buy oil from Iran.

"There will be more supplies from other major oil-producing countries based on our robust plan prepared by the Petroleum Ministry," Kumar said at a media briefing.

Kumar did not give direct response when asked whether India would now comply with US sanctions against Iran and bring the oil imports from the Gulf to "zero", deviating from Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's statement in May last year that New Delhi only acknowledges the UN sanctions.

"Giving a direct answer will be difficult … I can only repeat that anything that will be taken, it will be a combination of different factors. Enerygy securuty is one of them. Commercial considerations become number two and third become the economic security interests, "Kumar said.

On May 28 last year, Swaraj had said India will continue to trade with Iran despite US sanctions, claiming it only recognizes UN restrictions.

"We only recognize UN sanctions. We do not recognize country-specific sanctions," Swaraj said.

Kumar said that aspects such as the amount of oil imported by India from other countries will be handled by the relevant ministry.

Policy for importing oil from other countries will be based on the three factors. If it fits into these three factors, a decision will be made to import oil, he said.

In November, the United States had given a six-month waiver to India, China, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to continue importing oil from Iran. The temporary cancellation ended on Thursday.

In May last year, the United States had withdrawn sanctions against Iran after withdrawing from Iran's nuclear agreement that was hit in 201

5.

The United States had told India and other countries to cut oil imports from the Gulf nation to "zero" by November 4 or meet sanctions. But Washington had given six months of refusal to eight countries, including India.

India, the second largest buyer of Iranian oil after China, had agreed to limit its monthly purchase to 1.25 million tons or 15 million tons per year (300,000 barrels per day), down from 22.6. million tonnes (452,000 barrels per day) purchased in the fiscal year 2017-18.

The world's third largest oil consumer, India, meets more than 80 percent of the oil demand through imports. Iran is the third largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and meets about 10 percent of its total needs.


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