India buying Iran oil in defiance of Trump sanctions

10 October, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Regina Silva

The US now seems to be softening its stance on the sanctions.

File image of Dharmendra Pradhan.

India is going to continue buying Iranian oil in November despite the US sanctions, Reuters reported citing sources close to the Indian oil industry.

"We have ordered for our usual quantity of oil", he said.

Singh said options for paying for Iranian oil are under discussions.

This would be a hugely controversial move as it would bypass the United States sanctions as nearly all world oil is traded using the dollar. But other world powers that signed the agreement - Russia, China, Britain, Germany, and France - have said they will help Iran circumvent the sanctions and keep selling its oil. "State's been pushing very hard on this, they deserve a lot of credit for their efforts, so let's see what they come up with before criticizing".

"India is continuing with its relationship with both its key energy partners Iran and the U.S.", a second source said.

Some veteran Iran watchers cautioned against criticizing the administration for its decision to consider oil waivers, telling the Free Beacon it is very hard for nations to cut their imports to zero in the matter of months.

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With US sanctions on Iran looming, Moody's Investors Service had estimated a $500 million decline in earnings for Indian state-owned refiners, IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) on account of substituting crude oil imports from the Persian Gulf country.

USA president Donald Trump in May withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, re-imposing economic sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation.

"These officials are planning to announce that it's OK to give banks waivers because re-imposed sanctions on businesses are sufficient", the source explained. These channels would get blocked from November.

China has pledged to ignore USA sanctions and keep buying Iranian oil. It began clearing the dues in 2015 when the restrictions were eased.

Washington said on Friday it was considering waivers for nations that were reducing imports of Iranian oil.

"It is still early to say how India will settle its trade with Iran", the first source said, adding that India could consider paying Iran for crude with the rupee currency.

"What the Saudis had been supplying the market with, were not from Riyadh's spare capacity but from tapping its oil stocks", Zanganeh said, according to the website. In the following year, the Iranian supplies jumped to 27.2 MT to catapult it to the third spot.

Besides blocking of banking channels from November, the absence of payment mechanism may pose a challenge to the transportation of the oil as Iranian crude is bought on a CIF basis and shipped on Iranian tankers.

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