Washington exploring oil supply options for ‘friend’ India
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Earlier this year, the US had withdrawn from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and reimposed a series of tough sanctions on Iran.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