India engaged with U.S. on Iranian oil imports

April 5, 2019

TEHRAN- India says the country is engaged with the Trump administration on the issue of extending the waiver on imports of oil from Iran as the waiver expires next month, ND TV reported on Thursday.

In November, the U.S. granted a six-month waiver to India, China, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to continue importing oil from Iran.

The temporary waiver ends on May 2. 

"We are engaged with the U.S. The important thing is that we will continue our engagement with the U.S. on the issue," India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said during a media briefing.

India had won the exemption from the U.S. sanctions after it agreed to cut oil imports from Iran.

In May last year, the U.S. brought back sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal which was struck in 2015.

The U.S. has told India and other countries to cut oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation to "zero" by November 4 or face sanctions. However, the U.S. granted a six-month waiver to India and seven other countries to buy oil from Iran.

India, which is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian oil after China, has since then restricted its monthly purchase to 1.25 million tons or 15 million tons in a year (300,000 barrels per day), down from 22.6 million tons (452,000 barrels per day) bought in 2017-18 financial year, sources said.

India, the world's third biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80 percent of its oil needs through imports.

Iran was India’s seventh biggest oil supplier in January, as compared with its position as third-biggest a year ago before the reimposition of sanctions.

MA/MA

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