India remains unfazed about the fresh round of the US-imposed sanctions on Tehran and said it would continue to buy oil from Iran, refusing to seek a waiver.
The fresh round of US sanctions, authorised on December 31 calls for penalising any financial institutions dealing with Iran’s central bank, could make it more difficult for India to pay Iran for oil imports. A multi-ministerial delegation comprising members of the Reserve Bank of India, ministry of external affairs and ministry of finance is currently in Tehran for talks to resolve the oil payment crisis.
"We have accepted sanctions which are made by the United Nations (UN). Other sanctions do not apply to individual countries," foreign secretary Mathai said, pointing out India has a different view on the sanctions imposed by individual countries. "We continue to buy oil from Iran", Mathai said.
Mathai also made it clear that New Delhi was not seeking an exemption. Asked whether this move would anger the US and members of the European Union, he said many EU countries are major importers of Iran crude and cited the example of Greece.
Iran crude accounts for around 13% of India’s total oil needs. It accounts for 11% of China’s crude imports and 9% of Japan’s.
Indian stance seems to be firm as the US sanctions leave scope for waivers for firms in countries that significantly reduce dealings with Iran, or it is necessary for energy market stability. Japan, South Korea and Turkey have said they could seek waiver.
The sanction by the United States on Iran is aimed at curbing its nuclear progarmme and Iran maintains it is for peaceful purposes.