US of­fi­cials to dis­cuss In­dia’s oil trade with Iran as sanc­tions dead­line ap­proaches

Team in New Delhi to dis­cuss op­tions with In­dian coun­ter­parts

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS -

Top of­fi­cials in the Trump regime, deal­ing with Iran and en­ergy re­sources, are in In­dia to dis­cuss strate­gic is­sues, in­clud­ing New Delhi’s plans to curb oil im­ports from Iran, ahead of the Novem­ber 4 dead­line set by Wash­ing­ton for bring­ing down pur­chases from the Is­lamic Repub­lic to zero.

“US’ Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Iran Brian Hook and As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State for En­ergy Re­sources Francis R. Fan­non will meet In­dian coun­ter­parts for con­sul­ta­tions,” ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial re­lease from the US State Depart­ment. Hook and Fan­non are set to meet se­nior of­fi­cials from the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs and the Petroleum Min­istry, an In­dian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial con­firmed. “There are still un­re­solved is­sues be­tween the two sides on the mat­ter of In­dia’s oil im­ports from Iran. Iran is an eco­nom­i­cally vi­able op­tion for In­dia and it would be dif­fi­cult to stop all im­ports till there are al­ter­na­tive sources that are also as cost­ef­fec­tive. In­dia has main­tained this po­si­tion in all its dis­cus­sions with the US,” the of­fi­cial said.

Talk­ing to the me­dia in Wash­ing­ton ear­lier this week, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump warned that the US will “take care of” coun­tries that defy the Novem­ber 4 dead­line. Coun­tries like In­dia and China who have in­di­cated that they might do so.

The US State Depart­ment state­ment said that dur­ing the trip (which in­cludes vis­its to In­dia and Europe) Hook will en­gage US’ al­lies and part­ners on its shared need to counter the en­tirety of the Ira­nian regime’s de­struc­tive be­hav­iour in West Asia, and in their own neigh­bour­hoods.

Petroleum Min­is­ter Dharmendra Prad­han had said on Mon­day that In­dia was still buy­ing oil from Iran and hoped for a waiver from US sanc­tions.

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