U.S. sanctions on Iran would hurt India’s economy: Indian envoy

May 1, 2019 - 19:55

TEHRAN - The Indian ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday U.S. sanctions on Iran could boost oil prices and inflation to a point that hurts the common people in India.

"We are apprehensive that that impact can translate into inflation, (and) higher oil prices," Economic Times quoted Harsh Vardhan Shringla as saying at a Carnegie Endowment.

Sharingala mentioned the heavily reliance of Indian oil refineries on oil supplies from Iran, noting that "it is not possible to suddenly convert those refineries (to run) some other form of crude." 

Cutting off sales of oil from Iran, with which India has long had business and cultural relations, raises questions about long-term agreements on pricing and quality in the oil business, he said. 

Earlier this week, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj discussed Iranian oil sanctions with Mike Pompeo over phone, insisting that India should be allowed to continue importing oil from Iran at least for a longer time span.

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

They told India and other countries to cut oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation to "zero" by November 4 or face sanctions. However, Washington granted a six-month waiver to India and seven other countries to buy oil from Iran. The waivers are due to expire in May.

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.

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

Leave a Comment

2 + 8 =