Monday, 17 December, 2018

PM Modi meeting petroleum, MEA officials today on Iran oil imports

Priscilla Morrison | 12 October, 2018, 12:34

Iran is India's third largest oil supplier and it would need time to switch to other producers, a process in which the United States has said it is helping out.

India has also indicated in recent days that its state-owned refiners will continue to buy Iranian crude even after the second round of USA sanctions kick in on November 5, specifically targeting oil, ports and banking.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet government officials across ministries like petroleum, external affairs and finance later today to figure out ways for continuing with oil imports from Iran in the face of sanctions by the United States, three people familiar with the matter said.

Some 44 percent of the oil from Iran that arrived in India last month was initially planned to arrive in August, according to the tanker data and officials at two Indian state-run refiners, Reuters reports.

Brian Hook, head of the US State Department's Iran action group, and Francis Fannon, assistant secretary for energy resources, were to travel to India and later hold talks on Iran in Europe with European Union counterparts and the International Energy Agency.

"We will take care of them", Trump told reporters when asked about the decision of some countries like India and China to continue to purchase oil from Iran.

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"Overall with regard to those sanctions that will take effect on November 4th - and you're referring to the oil sanctions for Iran and countries that choose to continue purchasing oil from Iran - we have conversations with many partners and allies around the world about those sanctions", she said on Thursday. "We continue to have conversations with the government of Iraq about that particular issue and the implications for the reimposition of sanctions that were previously lifted or even waived under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)", Ms Nauert said.

"We believe that countries coming together and recognising the malign influence that Iran has had around the world is important".

Reports emerged in early September that India had given permission to state-owned refiners to import oil from Iran on Iranian tankers using Iranian-backed insurance, after the biggest Indian shipping company backed out of Iran voyages due to the USA sanctions. On Thursday, he said the United States "will take care" of countries which defy the directive.

India has sought waivers, which the U.S. has said it may consider on a case-by-case basis for countries that shown significant reduction in the imports, but it has received no public guarantees yet. And India will find out. We'll see. So I'm not going to get ahead of him, but certainly when we hear about things such as purchasing oil or the S-400 systems, it's not helpful.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said since July that the government would consider requests for sanctions relief from a "handful of countries".

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