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India under pressure to stop oil imports from Iran

Visiting US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley had taken up the Iranian nuclear issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday night.

SNS | New Delhi |

New Delhi appears on a collision course with the United States after the Trump Administration asked India and other countries to stop their oil imports from Iran by 4 November or face sanctions for conducting transactions with Tehran.

“As far as we are concerned, India will take all necessary steps, including engagement with all relevant stakeholders, to ensure our energy security,’’ External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told the media here.

The spokesperson noted that the State Department’s statement for stopping oil imports from Iran was not India-specific and applied to all countries. He said Iran was a traditional partner of India and the two countries shared civilisational links.

The spokesperson also recalled the statement issued by New Delhi when President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal in May. India had then stated that it would take all measures to offset any impact on its interests due to Washington’s decision.

Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil during April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of 2017-18 fiscal).

India has already made it clear from time to time that it would adhere only to UN sanctions and not the ones imposed by one country or another. It is to be seen how India withstands the US pressure on the issue in the coming weeks.

Visiting US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley had taken up the Iranian nuclear issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday night.

There was also speculation that the US had postponed its high-level ‘2+2’ dialogue with India, scheduled for 6 July, because of the differences on the Iran issue. However, both sides have since clarified that this was not the reason for the postponement and the dialogue would be held ‘very soon’.