NEW DELHI: India has secured additional supplies from other oil exporting countries to tide over shortages that New Delhi will incur when US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports kick in on Thursday.
Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters that India’s decision to import oil was based on many factors, “including commercial considerations and keeping our legitimate energy and economic security interests in mind".
Kumar was answering questions regarding US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports aimed bringing the country back to the dialogue table to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal. That deal was negotiated by the US under the Barack Obama Administration, Russia, China, the UK, France, Germany and Iran. US President Donald Trump last April announced that his country was walking out of the deal and gave nations buying oil from Iran till May 2 to reduce imports to zero. Iran is one of India’s top sources of crude oil, the others being Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
“As we have said, we are prepared to deal with the impact of the decision," Kumar said. “There will be additional supplies from other major oil producing countries based on a robust plan that has been drawn up by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas. The aspects related to the amount of oil which will be imported by India from other countries are all matters of operational details," he said.
India had previously said that it would only adhere to UN sanctions and not strictures imposed by specific countries on Iran. When asked about India reducing its oil imports to zero under the pressure of US sanctions, Kumar said: “Whatever decisions we will take, it will be a combination of different factors -- energy security is one of them, commercial considerations will be number two, and the third will be economic security interests."