The Crude Reality In Middle East
The warning, seemingly, has worked!
India has not only reduced oil imports from Iran, but also started exploring new alternatives. As expected, India’s move has pleased the Donald Trump administration. According to sources close to the White House, the US – which is ready to help India in exploring the alternatives – is discussing the issue with senior officials in New Delhi. A senior US official has said that the problem will be resolved in such a way so that it will not harm the economy of a friendly nation.
Talking to the local media in the Indian capital a couple of days ago, Alice G Wells – a career Foreign Service Officer and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs – said: “The US is consulting with all of its friends and partners to discuss the implementation of the sanctions after the snapback…we recognise India has a need for significant oil imports. Part of the conversation is how to ensure that there are alternative supplies of oil so that our friend India’s economy is not adversely affected.” Meanwhile, Wells appreciated the Indian private sector firms’ initiative to explore new suppliers of crude oil.
Alice G Wells
The top US official confirmed that the American and Indian experts were discussing different aspects of the sanctions (imposed on Iran) in a very constructive manner. Asked about the impact of the US sanctions on various foreign projects in Iran, such as the Chabahar project, she stressed that White House started reviewing the project (strategically important for India). “We very much appreciate what India has done to provide both assistance to Afghanistan, including through using Chabahar Port for the delivery of wheat. We also very much appreciate what India has done to allow Afghanistan to diversify its trade relationships, and again Chabahar has played a role there. So, those factors will certainly be taken under consideration,” added Wells.
India considers the Chabahar Port of Iran as a gateway to golden opportunities for trade with Iran, Afghanistan and central Asian countries. India, Iran and Afghanistan had signed a pact in May 2016, as they decided to establish a Transit and Transport Corridor among the three countries using Chabahar Port as one of the regional hubs for sea transportation in Iran.
Although the UN opposes the US’ move against Iran, the Trump administration is not ready to change its stance. Washington has warned its friendly nations that they will have to suffer, if they ignore the advice. In a statement, the Trump administration has said that the US will stop providing financial support to those who will maintain close trade ties with Iran.
Usually, India accepts the sanctions approved by the UN. However, the US sanctions worry India. The Narendra Modi government in New Delhi recently informed Washington that India reduced oil imports from the West Asian nation. At the same time, the Indian government made clear that it would not be possible for New Delhi to stop importing crude from Iran. So, the US has decided to help India in exploring alternative options.
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