Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting UAE

Marco Green
July 11, 2018

Refiners have started looking for alternative suppliers, but the price is once again not right for them, as the head of the largest Indian refiner and fuel retailer, Indian Oil Corp. said earlier this week.

Rahaghi also expressed disappointment at India not delivering on its promised investment for the expansion of the Chabahar Port and other connectivity projects that run through Iran.

Iran's Deputy Ambassador and Charge d'Affaires Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi said Iran will end the privileges being provided to India if it tries to source oil from countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the United States and others to offset cuts in Iranian oil.

While the USA wants all countries, India included, to reduce oil imports from Iran to zero, Washington's ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had said a fortnight ago that the Americans were open to working with New Delhi on Chabahar in view of its strategic importance, particularly with regard to Afghanistan.

Mr Rahaghi was speaking at a seminar on "emerging challenges and opportunities in the global diplomacy and its impact on bilateral ties with India".

India's oil imports from Iran declined by 15.9% in June, the first month after the U.S. said it would reimpose sanctions on the country, according to data from shipping and industry sources.

He also called India to "work together to immunise the relationship between the two countries" and proposed the adoption of necessary instruments and mechanisms like setting up banking relations, opening new transaction routes and helping each other's markets and business communities.

In April to June 2018, the first quarter of this fiscal year, India's oil imports from Iran rose by about 24 percent from the previous quarter to about 647,000 bpd, the data showed.

Adding to the bearish mood were signs of a possible relaxation of US sanctions on Iranian crude exports. The Iran sanctions are one of the top reasons for the price rally that has come to bite India's refiners amid surging domestic demand for fuels, so chances are New Delhi will try to secure a waiver.

Iran's deputy ambassador warned that Iran will withdraw the "special privileges" it gives India if the country lowers its import of Iranian oil.

Shipping to Iran and ports in the country are also coming under the U.S. sanctions. The Indian refiners will want to comply with the limits to maintain their access to the USA financial system.

"In such a selfish approach, the United States is targeting the whole world - either to be its friends and allies or be rival".

The US under President Donald Trump has taken a much-harder line on Tehran, including pulling out of the nuclear deal with world powers.

He further went on to suggest that a regional dialogue forum should be set up in the Persian Gulf and West Asia to resolve terrorism and regional crises.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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