Wash­ing­ton ex­plor­ing oil sup­ply op­tions for ‘friend’ In­dia

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - W RLD - —PTI

New York: With a tougher round of US sanc­tions on Iran com­ing into ef­fect from Novem­ber 4, a top Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said Wash­ing­ton recog­nises In­dia’s need for sig­nif­i­cant oil im­ports and is hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions to en­sure there are al­ter­na­tive sup­plies of the fuel “so that our friend In­dia’s econ­omy is not ad­versely af­fected”.

Ear­lier this year, the US had with­drawn from the 2015 Ira­nian nu­clear deal and reim­posed a se­ries of tough sanc­tions on Iran. The US ex­pects all coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­dia, to bring down their im­port of Ira­nian oil to zero by the time full sanc­tions hit.

The US has made it clear that any coun­try that con­tin­ues to do busi­ness with Iran will be blocked from ac­cess­ing the Amer­i­can bank­ing and fi­nan­cial sys­tem. How­ever, the sanc­tions are not en­dorsed by the UN and it has been a tra­di­tional pol­icy of In­dia to en­force only UNSC-au­tho­rised sanc­tions.

Though In­dia, one of the big­gest im­porters of Ira­nian oil, has al­ready re­duced its im­port, it has in­di­cated that it is un­likely to go down to zero given its mas­sive en­ergy needs. “The US is con­sult­ing with all of its friends and part­ners to dis­cuss the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the sanc­tions af­ter the snap­back...we recog­nise In­dia has a need for sig­nif­i­cant oil im­ports. Part of the con­ver­sa­tion is how to en­sure that there are al­ter­na­tive sup­plies of oil so that our friend In­dia’s econ­omy is not ad­versely af­fected,” Prin­ci­pal Deputy As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for the Bureau of South and Cen­tral Asia Re­gion Alice Wells said.

A file photo of a par­tially con­structed gas re­fin­ery in Iran

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