Iran oil row: China, India not to bend to US pressure
Two of the world’s fastest-growing economies—China and India — also the two biggest importers of oil from Iran — have refused to come under any pressure from the US over reducing Tehran’s oil revenue.business Updated: Jan 13, 2012 02:39 IST
Two of the world’s fastest-growing economies—China and India — also the two biggest importers of oil from Iran — have refused to come under any pressure from the US over reducing Tehran’s oil revenue.While China buys a third of Iran’s oil exports, India as the second-largest purchaser of crude oil after China imports 12% of its crude oil needs from Iran worth $12 billion (or Rs 60,000 crore) annually.
The issue of fresh round of US sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme were discussed at Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, where it was decided that New Delhi will continue doing business with Tehran without seeking any waiver that would protect its buyers of Iranian oil (oil refining companies such as Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL) from US sanctions, government sources said.
“Why should we seek waiver from the US? We have done business with Iran earlier and will continue to do business,” a senior Cabinet minister was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
Government officials would visit Iran next week and find ways to pay for oil payment without contravening US financial measures, the minister said.
India currently pays for Iran crude through Turkey’s Halkbank, a mechanism government officials have said may be cut off by the latest round of sanctions.
Halkbank has already refused to open an account for Bharat Petroleum Corp for Iran oil.
“The Indian delegation will visit Tehran from January16-21 to explore alternative routes of payment to ensure supplies,” officials said.