‘India must resume oil purchases from Iran’

Indian columnist urges the government of Prime Minister Nrandra Modi to keep buying Iranian crude despite the US sanctions in a bid to maintain its leverage in the Iranian market in case sanctions are lifted.

15 September 2019
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Indian columnist urges the government of Prime Minister Nrandra Modi to keep buying Iranian crude despite the US sanctions in a bid to maintain its leverage in the Iranian market in case sanctions are lifted.

indian Prime Minister Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in February 2019. | Narendra Modis official Twitter handle @narendramodi

The Government of India would have been best advised to continue to purchase oil from Iran despite the sanctions imposed on that country after the Donald Trump administration tore up the Iran nuclear deal signed by the United States and other key powers, urged on Saturday an Indian senior journalist and columnist. 

"By its decision to trot along behind Washington in this matter, India is on the way to losing the Chabahar port to China, which has continued to purchase Iranian crude oil together with Turkey, ignoring US threats of sanctions," wrote Madhav Das Nalapat, editorial director of India's Sunday Guardian. 

"Losing Chabahar would be a major strategic setback not merely for India, but for its ally the US as well," he warned. 

India has agreed to develop the strategic Iranian oceanic port of Chabahar under a 10-year lease in a bid to have smoother exports to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan. 

"There are areas where the interests of the US and India diverge, Iran being among them. Rather than stopping oil purchases from Iran and going ahead with the S-400, what needs to be done is the reverse: cancel the S-400 purchase," Nalapat mentioned. 

"Also, India should resume oil purchases from Iran so that the immense advantages provided by the Iranian port of Chabahar is not lost to China, which is the closest military ally of both Russia and Pakistan," he added in his Saturday column. 

Earlier, Iranian Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni warned that Tehran may look at other markets to procure soymeal, rice if India does not resume normal trade ties with Iran, including purchase of Iranian crude. 

 

 

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