India will break USA sanctions and keep importing Iranian oil

US considers sanction waivers on countries reducing imports of Iranian oil

US considers sanction waivers on countries reducing imports of Iranian oil

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in India last month that they may consider waivers for Iranian oil buyers like India, but they must reduce their imports.

Speaking at an event here, Pradhan said two of India's state-owned companies had contracted for Iranian crude for November.

Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg on Friday that the kingdom had met its promise to Washington to make up for Iranian oil supplies lost through U.S. sanctions, reimposed when the United States exited a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six powers.

However, the Trump administration this weekend announced it is considering waivers on sanctions for countries that are merely reducing their imports of Iranian oil.

State refiners Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) have contracted 1.25 million tonnes of Iranian oil for import in November.

However, according to Alice G. Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, the U.S. has not taken any decision on sanctioning India for importing oil from Iran and investing in the Chabahar port.

"Likely, India and Iran will agree to use Rupee payments instead of U.S. dollar payments, something already tried between 2013 and 2015, with Iran then using Rupees to import food, medicines and other commodities from India", said Leszczynski. But New Delhi needs a waiver to ensure its wider exposure to the US financial system is not affected. India would lift 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, equivalent to about 300,0000 barrels per day (bpd), compared to an average of about 658,000 bpd from April to August, according to data available with Reuters. But Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, has repeatedly announced that its oil exports can not be reduced to zero because of high demand levels in the market.

"We were trying to balance our relationship with the USA and Iran, at the same time keeping our energy and security interest in mind", he added.

On Monday, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said a claim by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the Kingdom could replace Iran's crude exports was "nonsense". "As U.S. infrastructure improves, India has a potential to lift more", he said. New Delhi and Tehran have reportedly discussed reverting to rupee trade after November 4.

"Obviously, all countries in the Persian Gulf region want to sell their oil, and the world is in need of this region's oil and other energy resources", the top Iranian diplomat said. The bulk of spare capacity is held by Saudi Arabia.

"Oil should not only be priced from a producers' point of view consumers interest should also be taken care of", he said.

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