Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting the Emirates

11 July, 2018, 19:29 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Iran promises to sell as much oil as it can in wake of US sanctions

The government of India, Iran's top oil client after China, asked refiners last month to prepare for drastic reductions or even zero Iranian oil imports.

While most of the lead-up to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit this week in Brussels has centered around President Trump pushing military spending, and potentially being less hostile toward Russian Federation than the other nations prefer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Brussels with a mission focused heavily on Iran.

On Tuesday, Iran's deputy ambassador and charge d'affaires, Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi, clearly announced that India will lose its "special privileges" if it cuts down on its import of Iranian oil or if it tries to replace the oil with imports from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the USA and others.

The Trump administration has moved in recent months to impose penalties on Iranian individuals and entities, and senior USA officials have said that Washington has begun pressing other countries to end Iranian oil imports by November.

The Iranian Deputy ambassador to India, Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi said Iran will cut off privileges given to India if the oil market is saturated by other suppliers, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq or the United States.

The secretary of State's comments came as the US steps up pressure on Iran after President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday Kavanaugh offers lengthy judicial record ahead of bitter confirmation fight Hundreds protest Kavanaugh's nomination outside Supreme Court MORE's announcement in May that he would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, which sought to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

This means India, Asia's second-largest importer after China, will have to give up the euro payment mechanism for Iranian crude imports from November when USA sanctions against Iran come into force. The current payment mechanism involves Indian refiners transferring funds to SBI when they use Germany-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank to pay euros to Iran.

It began clearing the dues in 2015 when the restrictions were eased.

After Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier. To get around the problem, Iran supplied oil in its own tankers.

A senior Iranian diplomat has warned India that Tehran will end "special privileges" for New Delhi if it attempts to replace Iranian crude with supplies from Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, PTI reported.

State refiners, accounting for about 60 percent of India's almost 5 million bpd of refining capacity, lifted 10 percent more Iranian volumes in June compared to May, at about 454,000 bpd, the data from the sources showed.

India imports more than 80 percent of the oil it needs. Yet at the same time, the country has close ties with Iran. In November, deals involving Iran's oil and energy sector, shipping and ports, and insurance services will be prohibited.


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