The Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who is presently in India discussed the export of Iranian oil because of US pressure. Will India buy Iranian Oil – this will now be decided by the new government.
Zarif earlier stated he is in India to discuss the ‘most recent developments in the region as well as bilateral relations’ with Sushma Swaraj, the Indian Foreign Minister. He described India as one of Iran’s most ‘important partners’ – economically, politically as well as regionally. Vowed to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, the US re-imposed strict sanctions on Iran. And due to US pressure, now India has stopped buying Iranian oil.
Moreover, Trump’s administration withdrew waivers to India and seven other countries that had allowed them to import Iranian crude oil without being exposed to punitive action under the US sanctions. However, an Indian official had said that this wasn’t the end of the road for them. He indicated that India hadn’t given up on Iran supplies that suit Indian refineries and come with 60-day credit period and cheaper freight. “The US has been escalating the situation unnecessarily,” Zarif said. “We do not seek escalation but we have always defended ourselves.”
India is the second largest purchaser of Iranian oil. The country’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said India will fill the gaps left by Iranian oil with imports from other major oil-producing nations. Pradhan said India’s refineries are fully prepared to meet the national demand for petrol, diesel and other petroleum products. Reports say that Indian refineries are already planning to ramp up their imports from nations in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as from the US and Mexico.