India’s Iran oil imports fall as U.S. sanctions fears bite

12 July, 2018, 15:27 | Author: Regina Silva
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after a joint press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Tuesday that Washington may grant waivers to the countries that seek relief from strict oil sanctions that the Trump administration intends to impose on Iran from Nov 4.

US President Donald Trump announced in early May the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal and the reinstatement of sanctions against the country, as well as against foreign companies who do business with it. "Recent purchases of USA crude and liquefied natural gas are just a couple of examples of this potential" Haley had said on her visit to India for a meeting with PM Modi on the same.

The Trump administration has moved in recent months to impose penalties on Iranian individuals and entities, and senior US officials have said that Washington has begun pressing other countries to end Iranian oil imports by November. "The zero tolerance policy and the pace with which it is moving no doubt concerns Iran's current crude buyers".

The Chabahar port is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran, and Afghanistan with central Asian countries in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi. Overall purchases climbed on a higher intake of crude from Mexico, the United States and Azerbaijan.

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Disappointed at India for not making promised investments in Iran's Chabahar port, Iran on Tuesday warned India of ending "special privileges".

According to NIOC, the bulk of Iran's shipments in June 2018 - about 62pc - were sent to customers in Asia while Europe accounted for 38pc of exports. State refiners, accounting for about 60 per cent of India's almost 5 million bpd of refining capacity, lifted 10 per cent more Iranian volumes in June compared to May, at about 454,000 bpd, the data from the sources showed. The sources declined to be identified. On a yearly basis, India's imports from Iran were 19.5 per cent higher, the data showed.

Speaking at a seminar on "emerging challenges and opportunities in the global diplomacy and its impact on bilateral ties with India", Iran's Deputy Ambassador and Charge d'Affaires Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi said that it will stop providing privileges to India if it sources oil import from other countries other than Iran. Imports by state refiners during the period more than doubled to about 413,400 bpd from 191,700 bpd, the data showed.

In the joint statement, they reconfirmed their commitment to the deal and its "economic dividends" for Iran, which has suffered worsening financial turbulence since Trump abandoned the accord, and vowed to work for "the protection of companies from the extraterritorial effects of United States sanctions".

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