Sunday, May 16, 2021

India Could Again Buy Iranian Oil After Saudi Oil Facilities Hit

Chabahar port was discussed at length during the 16th round of foreign office consultations between delegates of India and Iran in Tehran. The development of the strategic Chabahar port which is a part of a trilateral agreement between Iran, India and Afghanistan was reviewed amid the pressure to import crude oil supplies from Iran.

The bilateral meeting was chaired by Indian Foreign Secretary and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran. Chabahar Port is often called the ‘Golden Gate’ of new opportunities and horizons for India-Iran bilateral trade.

Gamut of bilateral issues discussed

The bilateral meet had multifarious agendas to be discussed in line with the bilateral relationship New Delhi has with Tehran. Issues like connectivity between the two nations and infrastructural development were of key importance to this meet.

Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar will completely operationalise the transit trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan. The port is situated in the Indian Ocean will be easily accessible to India’s western coast and will unfold new trade opportunities for India to connect with Central Asia.

India will be benefited heavily in a way that the shipment costs for India’s trade with Central Asia will drop by nearly 60 per cent. It will also cut the time short by half for India to connect to Central Asia through the sea. The port is hence of paramount strategic importance to India and Iran.

Mounting pressure on India to import crude oil from Iran

After Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil production plant was hit by drone strikes, there’s mounting pressure on India to export oil from Iran in order to meet demands.

Saudi Arabia is among the leading exporters of oil to India but with the production capacity of Saudi Aramco taking a backseat after drone attacks, the supply may be affected and India might have to look at other alternatives to meet burgeoning demand.

Who Attacked Aramco?

In an update on Monday evening, a Saudi military spokesman said initial investigations show Iranian weapons were used in the weekend attack on the country’s oil installations.

Saudi, UAE Show Solidarity With Pakistan But No Support On Kashmir

Though Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks Saturday, saying they launched 10 drones that caused the extensive damage, this is under debate. The US released satellite images overnight that it says contain evidence showing that the attacks came from either Iraq or Iran.
190916 Aramco
A satellite image shows an apparent drone strike on an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia September 14, 2019.Image Credit: Reuters

Colonel Turki al-Malki also told reporters in Riyadh on Monday that the early morning strikes on Saturday were not launched from Yemen as claimed by Iranian-allied Yemeni rebels who are at war with Saudi Arabia. Al-Maliki did not elaborate further and said the results of the investigation would be made public to the media when complete.

Trump’s Response

In his latest tweet, Donald Trump, said, “Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their “airspace” when, in fact, it was nowhere close. They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie. Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1173586320943456258

Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their “airspace” when, in fact, it was nowhere close. They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie. Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see.

Earlier, Donald Trump said that Washington believes it knows who was behind the attacks on Saudi oil facilities and is “locked and loaded,” but is waiting for verification and for a Saudi assessment of responsibility before deciding how to proceed.

“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is the reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Trump Tweeted

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