US Reiterates Firm No to Oil Trade Between India and Iran

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Washington, DC – The United States on Tuesday (May 28) reiterated its position, in unequivocal terms, to firmly impose sanctions on the import of Iranian oil by India.

Replying to a question from IAT, US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, “We have stated that there are no new exemptions after May 2nd as it relates to importing Iranian oil.” Citing the position stated by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Ortagus said, “I would just say that the Secretary has been very clear since April 22nd that we are going to zero. The US position there remains quite firm.”

Earlier a report in “ThePrint” cited two Indian government sources as saying that the incoming Narendra Modi government “is keen to resume supply from the Middle Eastern country and is looking at ways to make payments in Indian rupee to get around US sanctions.”

India stopped oil imports from Iran after the six-month sanction waiver from the US ended on May 2, but ThePrint report quoted a senior Indian government official as saying, “The government is not keen on this (ban). It is keen to resume imports, though the quantum will be limited.”

The report further disclosed that the official said “Iran’s Pasargad Bank, which got the Reserve Bank of India’s nod to open a branch in Mumbai, may be used to make payments for the oil supply.”

“Payments can be deposited in the Iranian bank and then Iranian authorities can decide how to utilise the money,” the official was quoted as saying in the report.

The report continued to elaborate on payment methods and insurance coverage for the shipments, but the US government seemed to put its foot down on any such oil trade.

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Tejinder Singh, Editor, India America Today & White House Correspondent

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