India, on Thursday, said it continued to engage with the United States over Washington’s decision not to grant any further waiver on sanctions related to oil purchases from Iran beyond 1 May.
“We have conveyed to them (US) our energy security requirement,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told a media briefing.
His statement came amid reports that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had spoken to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, seeking flexibility in American sanctions on Iranian oil imports keeping India’s energy requirements in mind. The American leader was, however, non-committal.
The spokesperson said India’s decision on oil imports would be based on many factors, including commercial considerations and the country’s energy security. There would be additional supplies from other countries based on a robust plan drawn up by the Petroleum Ministry, he added.
The apprehension in Indian circles is that bringing oil imports from Iran to zero level would lead to inflation and higher oil prices in the election season. Moreover, many of the refineries in India are calibrated to process crude from Iran. It would not be easy for them to immediately start processing some other form of crude.
The Trump administration recently told India, China, Turkey and a few other oil customers of Iran that no waiver on sanctions would be granted to them after 1 May, ending six months of exception to the sanctions.