Opposing Washingtons unilateralism and warning of sanctions for buying Iranian oil, two Indian organizations have placed orders to import crude from the Islamic Republic of Iran, India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas announced.
Earlier, India approved to procure the advanced S-400 missile systems from Russia. which also came as a rude, but expected shock to the US. India-Russia defence deal of the S-400 air defence systems was signed despite the vehement opposition by the US.
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“We have to fulfil all our domestic requirements,” said Dharmendra Pradhan (India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas), stating the strains the world’s third-largest oil importer now faces in attempting to find other sources.
On Tuesday, oil prices rose amid falling Iranian exports. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 65 cents to $84.56 a barrel. Last week it hit a four-year high of $86.74.
Mr Pradhan also discussed the possibility of India using the Indian Rupee to pay for Iranian crude. That would signal a willingness by India to bypass U.S. sanctions because the U.S. dollar is the dominant currency for the global oil trade.
Oil has been in the focus since Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Obama-era nuclear agreement with Tehran and reimposed sanctions on Tehran in an attempt to restrict its destructive action across the Middle East. Even rigid penalties are set to start on Nov. 4, sanctioning governments who buy Iranian oil by blocking their access to U.S. markets.
Countries like South Korea and France, have stopped their purchases completely while China and India, the biggest buyers of Iranian crude, are now buying far fewer barrels. Indian officials state that a major concern has been the need to obtain a waiver from the US to allow them to gradually diversify from Iranian crude to different sources.
Last month during a visit to New Delhi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the White House would only consider waivers for countries pledging to completely cut off Iranian oil. The Indian minister stated that Delhi was caught in-between of the Iran-U.S. dispute.
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