India to decide on importing crude oil from Iran after elections

India to decide on importing crude oil from Iran after elections

Agency News

New Delhi, May 14: India on Tuesday told Iran that it will take a decision after the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, keeping in mind its commercial interests, energy security and economic interests.

India's position was reiterated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj when the visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif called on her.

Last month, India had said it would stop importing crude oil from Iran following the U.S. move to end sanction waivers and would use alternate supply sources like Saudi Arabia to meet its needs.
The Trump administration had decided in April not to renew waiver that let countries like India to import Iranian crude oil without having to face US sanctions.

India was the biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil after China. It imported 24 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran in the 2018-19 fiscal. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said in a tweet at that time that "a robust plan for an adequate supply of crude oil to Indian refineries" is in place. The oil ministry in a statement had said a plan was in place to ensure supplies of crude oil from May when the waiver ends.

The visit of Iranian Foreign Minister took place at his own initiative to brief the Indian side on the Iranian approach to the recent developments in the region, including on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and to review bilateral cooperation. This was part of their consultation with other countries in the region including Russia, China, Turkmenistan, and Iraq over the last few days.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recalled the steps announced by President Rouhani on May 8, including decisions linked to the export of enriched material and heavy water. He mentioned that 60 days timeline has been given to EU-3 and other parties to JCPOA for restoring the oil and banking channels, according to sources.

The sources said that India's position on JCPOA was reiterated. India would like all parties to the agreement to continue to fulfill their commitments and all parties should engage constructively and resolve all issues peacefully and through dialogue.

Both sides expressed satisfaction at the operationalization of the interim contract on the Chabahar Port between India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) and Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO). The two sides shared their views on the situation in Afghanistan and agreed to maintain close coordination on the evolving situation, sources added. (UNI)