Udayavni Special

Ties with Iran not influenced by any third country: India


PTI, Jul 4, 2019, 10:12 AM IST

New Delhi: India Wednesday said its ties with Iran stand on their own and are not influenced by any third country, an assertion which came in the wake of US sanctions on import of Iranian oil.

The comments by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan in the Lok Sabha came while replying to a question on the issue.

After six-month-long exemptions from US sanctions to buy oil from Iran ended in May, India said it will deal with the issue based on three factors — the country’s energy security, commercial consideration and economic interests.

“India’s bilateral relations with Iran stand on their own and are not influenced by India’s relations with any third country,” Muraleedharan said in a written reply.

In November, the US had granted a six-month waiver to India, China, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to continue importing oil from Iran. The temporary waiver ended on May 2.

In May last year, the US had brought back sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal which was struck in 2015.

The US had told India and other countries to cut oil imports from the Gulf nation to “zero” by November 4 or face sanctions. However, Washington had granted a six-month waiver from sanctions to eight countries, including India.

Iran’s Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni on Tuesday asserted that his country can provide “affordability, accessibility and security” of energy to India.

The Iranian envoy also alluded to the possibility of using barter, rupee and European mechanisms for trade in oil with India and other countries to circumvent the US sanctions.

His remarks assume significance as they come days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had assured India that America is “doing everything” to ensure crude oil imports to New Delhi in the wake of the situation arising out of sanctions on importing oil from Iran.

Pompeo had said India has made “hard choices” to cut off oil imports from Iran.

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