‘India will resume Iran’s oil imports if sanctions eased’

February 5, 2021 - 10:50

TEHRAN- The chairman of state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp said that the Indian refiners will resume imports of Iranian oil if the United States eases sanctions against Tehran, Reuters reported.

“Iranian crude had been in the (import) basket of Indian refineries ... we will be happy to take that crude as and when the situation warrants and the crude is available,” M.K. Surana told a news conference on Thursday.

Surana said Iran was previously offering favorable terms for payment and freight discounts among others which made its oil “preferential” compared to other grades.

After stopping purchases from Iran, Indian refiners have diversified their crude imports.

India, which was Iran’s top oil client after China, had stopped oil imports from the OPEC nation in mid-2019 under pressure from the sanctions imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has recently said that his country hopes to boost its oil imports from Iran under the U.S. new administration.

Making the remarks in an interview on Bloomberg TV in late January, the minister reiterated the comments that he had made in December. “Some geopolitical changes are there,” he said. “Let us wait for how things unfold.”

The South Asian economy is heavily reliant on energy imports and its refiners struggled to cope as the White House’s aggressive foreign policy over the last few years restricted access to Iranian oil.

India halted imports from Iran, previously its third-largest oil supplier, in mid-2019 after the expiration of U.S. exemptions from sanctions. 

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