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India's oil conundrum back? US sanctions on Iran effective now, govt says ready to deal with impact

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 04, May 2019, 14:24 pm IST | UPDATED: 04, May 2019, 14:24 pm IST

India's oil conundrum back? US sanctions on Iran effective now, govt says ready to deal with impact Delhi: After re-imposing sanctions on Tehran last year, the US administration led by President Donald Trump had issued a temporary waiver of six months for several countries including India to continue buying oil from Iran. As the deadline of the waiver ended today i.e. May 2, 2019, India said that it is ready to deal with the impact of US sanctions against Iran. With Iran being one of the top oil suppliers to India, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said that India will get extra supplies from other oil producing countries to compensate for the loss of Iranian oil.

New Delhi has halted the purchases of Iranian oil from May after the United States ended six months of waiver that had allowed OPEC member Iran's eight top customers including India to import limited volumes.
According to data sourced from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Iraq sold 46.61 million tonnes of crude oil to India during April 2018 and March 2019, 2 per cent more than 45.74 million tonnes it had supplied in 2017-18 fiscal.

India provisionally imported 207.3 million tonnes of crude oil in 2018-19, down from 220.4 million tonnes in the previous financial year. Saudi Arabia has traditionally been India's top oil source, but it was for the first time dethroned by Iraq in 2017-18 fiscal year.

However, a report by news agency PTI stated that senior officials of India and Iran are likely to hold fifth round of negotiations for a bilateral preferential trade agreement (PTA) in New Delhi this month. Till now, four rounds of negotiations have been completed and the last one was held in March in Tehran where both countries discussed the draft text of the pact.

US Sanctions of Iran has splurged unrest in the Middle East and North African countries as oil price volatility is dragging regional economic growth, the International Monetary Fund report said. The IMF also predicted that the economy in Iran, which is the second largest in the region behind Saudi Arabia, will shrink by 6.0 per cent this year after contracting by 3.9 per cent in 2018.
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