India likely to ignore Washington’s call to stop buying Iranian crude oil
India doesn’t recognize unilateral sanctions, so the country is unlikely to comply with the US demand to halt oil imports from Iran, according to India’s top oil official.
On Tuesday, a senior State Department official said that the White House demanded countries cut all imports of Iranian oil from November with no exemptions expected to be entitled. Washington announced plans to ramp up pressure on its allies to stop funding Iran.
“India does not recognize unilateral sanctions, but only sanctions by the United Nations,” said joint secretary for international cooperation at India's petroleum ministry Sunjay Sudhir, as quoted by CNNMoney.
India is one of the biggest purchasers of oil from the Islamic Republic, buying more Iranian crude than any country except China. According to government data, Iran is the nation’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
“More than China, India is unlikely to capitulate to the US demand," according to analysts at the Eurasia Group, as cited by the media. “India's state-owned refiners will likely continue to import Iranian crude.”
According to the group’s estimates, India currently buys about 700,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day with Iran becoming a critical and strategic supply source to meet the country’s growing demand for energy.
India and the US are currently trying to resolve the issue of mutual tariffs after US President Donald Trump imposed levies on exports of Indian steel and aluminum. New Delhi pledged to retaliate with tariffs on 29 product categories, starting August 4.
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