India pledges to continue buying oil from Iran
India could be on a collision course with the United States and European Union after officials in Delhi made clear they intended to carry on importing oil from Iran, despite the imposition of Western sanctions against Tehran.
S Jaipal Reddy, India’s Oil Minister, said yesterday that the country was still considering how best to make payments for the $12bn of crude oil it annually imports from Iran, and which it pays for using a Turkish bank as an intermediary. Delhi is concerned that the US will seek to persuade Turkey to block this option as the West steps up pressure on Iran.
Drawing a very clear distinction between UN sanctions and those imposed by the US, Mr Reddy told reporters: “We will scrupulously adhere to the sanctions imposed by the UN. No less, no more. We will continue to explore various options of payment to Iran. As of now, supplies are on and Iran has been very positive and we are still optimistic.”
A team of Indian experts recently visited Tehran to assess the best way to continue to make payments. Unconfirmed reports suggest the options include the rupee, which is only partly convertible, and the Japanese yen. One report suggested India would pay for the oil using gold. Mr Reddy declined to comment on the outcome of the discussions. “We cannot disclose such things,” he said.
The US and EU, which accuse Iran of trying to develop a nuclear weapon – an accusation that Iran stridently denies – are seeking various ways to put pressure on the government in Tehran. EU foreign ministers this week agreed to a ban on oil imports from Iran as of 1 July.
India has no intention of following suit. The country is hungry for energy, with an economy growing at more than 7 per cent. The AFP news agency reports that India buys 12 per cent of its oil from Iran, which is its second largest supplier after Saudi Arabia.
China is the Islamic Republic’s largest customer, accounting for around 20 per cent of its exports, and has already made clear it has no plan to alter this arrangement. Last year, as the issue of sanctions emerged, there were reports India may seek to barter for the oil, offering steel, electronic goods and food in exchange.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 5 Exclusive: UK banks in row over Yulia Tymoshenko 'millions'
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: Geography TeacherApril 2014Mate...
£17000 - £30000 per annum + Daily rate TBC: Randstad Education Reading: Teache...
£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Group: Secondary Teaching Assistant (EAL...
£55000 per annum + superb benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Want to work in a L...