Despite the US pressure, India has reported a massive jump in oil imports from Iran in October. The US has vowed to bring the Islamic Republic’s oil revenues down to zero but a defiant Tehran and its allies are withstanding Trump’s unilateralism.
India’s official figures show the country imported as much as 2.57 million tonnes of oil worth an overall of $1.42 billion from Iran over the past month. The figure marked an increment of 36% over the same period last year when a total of 1.89 million tonnes were shipped to India from Iran.
Washington launched the second wave of sanctions against Iran from November 5 in which a universal ban on the country’s oil exports was cited as the primary aspiration. Although US officials mainly targeted Iran’s oil sales, officials in Tehran have repeatedly rejected the practicability of this, emphasising that international consumers cannot afford to lose vital Iranian supplies.
India is the second largest importer of Iranian oil after China, importing 17.62 million tonnes of oil between April and October of this year. The US has temporarily exempted Turkey, China, India, North Korea, Italy, Greece, Taiwan, and Japan from the ban it imposed on countries purchasing Iranian oil.
India had imported about 22 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran in 2017-18 and planned to raise that to about 30 million tonnes in 2018-19. But, as a condition of waiver, Indian oil firms will reduce their imports significantly, the source added. Indian companies can import 1.25 million tonnes a month up to March 2019, according to media reports.