Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Sanctions have turned into opportunity: Iran's defense chief

Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri
Orlando Vargas | 12 July, 2018, 20:45

Last week, while ruling out waivers to India and Turkey - which have told Washington that they would continue to import oil from Iran - the USA had indicated willingness to work with countries that are reducing their oil imports from Iran.

Iran on Tuesday, July 10, slammed India for not fulfilling its investment promises for the expansion of the Chabahar port and said that New Delhi will lose "special privileges" if it stops Iranian oil import and tries to source it from other countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, and the US.

US President Donald Trump's administration has been pressuring its allies to cut imports of Iranian goods to zero by November and India's shift advances the US administration efforts to use energy to further its political goals.

Rahaghi pointed out that certain privileges extended to India by Iran between 2012 and 2015 had helped New Delhi to continue importing oil from Tehran through the sanctions before the Iran Nuclear Deal (Joint Comprehensive Place of Action) was signed.

Referring to U.S. sanctions on oil import from Iran, Mr Rahaghi said his country has been a reliable energy partner for India and that Iran always follows a "rationale pricing" of oil which ensures the interest of both consumers and suppliers.

Speaking at a seminar on global diplomacy and bilateral ties with India, Rahaghi said that Chabahar broadens trade opportunities between India, Iran, Afghanistan and more Central Asian countries. This is 30 days more than other oil-producing countries.

The defense chief also said that the USA has adopted the "tactic of causing distance between the people and the system" to harm the country after finding that it can not reach its objectives by imposing sanctions. And we'll make a deal.

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President Donald Trump withdrew the USA from the 2015 nuclear deal on May 8 and plans to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

"Iran has always been a reliable energy partner for India and others, seeking a balanced oil market and rational prices of oil which ensure the interests of both countries as consumer and supplier", the embassy said in a statement.

In June, India imported 592,800 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Iran, compared to 705,200 bpd in May, the data showed.

Last month, India's oil ministry asked refiners to prepare to limit imports of Iranian oil ahead of USA sanctions that take effect in November.

Indian refiners will likely gain more clarity on how much the United States would like them to cut after a meeting with USA officials scheduled for July 16 to 17, said an official with a state-run refiner who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Sources told Reuters last month that private refiners Nayara Energy and Reliance Industries Ltd plan to halt Iranian oil imports.

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