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‘Expect a friend to order oil’: Iranian envoy messages India on US sanctions

Though the Iranian port of Chabahar, which India is developing as a gateway to Afghanistan, isn’t under sanctions, Chegeni said US actions had created uncertainty in the minds of investors and bankers.

india Updated: Jul 03, 2019 08:49 IST
Rezaul H Laskar
Rezaul H Laskar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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New Delhi stopped Iranian oil purchases after Washington ended on May 2 a six-month waiver that had allowed the top buyers, including India, to continue imports. (REUTERS)

India will decide on oil purchases in line with its national interests but Tehran is hopeful New Delhi will resume Iranian oil imports that have been hit by American sanctions, Iranian ambassador Ali Chegeni said on Tuesday.

New Delhi stopped Iranian oil purchases after Washington ended on May 2 a six-month waiver that had allowed the top buyers, including India, to continue imports.

The US imposed sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal last year.

“We understand India will act according to its national interests. We know India is under pressure (but) India’s relationship with any other country is not against us,” Chegeni told reporters after the opening of an exhibition of Iranian arts.

“We are not deciding on behalf of the Indian government and we respect all their decisions, but we expect a friend…(to place orders for oil) in future…Iran is ready to be the biggest protector of India’s energy security,” he added.

Referring to external affairs minister S Jashankar’s recent remarks about India’s need for affordable, stable and predictable energy supplies, Chegeni said Iran fulfilled all these conditions.

“We didn’t get any negative signal from the Indian government that they won’t buy in future…We are hopeful that our relationship will continue,” he said.

Though the Iranian port of Chabahar, which India is developing as a gateway to Afghanistan, isn’t under sanctions, Chegeni said US actions had created uncertainty in the minds of investors and bankers.

“They are saying Chabahar is not under sanctions, but the banks don’t dare to come, the private companies say the future is not clear for them. Somehow this is a sanction,” Iranian ambassador Ali Chegeni said, adding that operations at the port had picked up in recent months.

Chabahar is key to the plans of Central Asian states to trade with India, he said. “Nobody can ignore the importance of Chabahar,” Iranian ambassador Ali Chegeni added.

First Published: Jul 02, 2019 23:31 IST