India is likely to resist the American pressure on complying with the reimposed Iranian sanctions as it has been a traditional policy of New Delhi to enforce only UNSC-authorised sanctions, a Congressional report has told lawmakers. Iranian oil exports have dropped ahead of sanctions as several countries have begun to curtail their purchase from the Middle-East producer.
During the previous sanctions, India used to make payments through Ankara-based Halk Bank and UCO Bank.
India may revert to paying Iran in rupees for the oil it buys from its third largest supplier as United States sanctions will from November 4 block use of United States dollars to settle such trades, a top official said Thursday.
Earlier, India was looking at the possibility of falling back on the rupee-rial arrangement for importing oil from Iran in the wake of U.S. sanctions.
India had planned to import about 25 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran in the current fiscal, up from 22.6 million tonnes imported in 2017-18. As part of the ongoing negotiations, India has offered to make a significant cut in its purchase from Iran to win waiver from the United States but a final word on it is still away, people familiar with the matter said.
India, one of the biggest importers of Iranian oil, is unlikely to do so given its huge energy needs.
India is engaged with the United States and other stakeholders to ensure its energy security and national interest, the foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday, as Washington is set to tighten sanctions on Iran's oil and banking sector.
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UCO Bank and IDBI Bank have been identified to route the payment as the two have no exposure to the USA financial system.
India, the second biggest crude customer for Iran, may cut its imports from Iran by half to secure a waiver from the USA to continue with shipments, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in August.
India has also been hoping that the U.S. will give it some relief from the sanctions.
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In today's meeting - attended by Jaitley, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Road Minister Nitin Gadkari - it was chose to start importing crude oil from the Chabahar port in Iran.
Oil accounts for almost 80 per cent of Iran's tax revenue, according to the International Monetary Fund, making petroleum the regime's economic lifeblood.