Indo-US Ties

India will protect its energy security, MEA says days after US demands it halt Iran oil imports

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the United States had not talked of snapping ties with Tehran.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said India will take measures to ensure its energy security is not compromised, two days after the United States asked its allies and India to stop importing crude oil from Iran by November 4.

“It should be noted that the statement was not India specific and applies to all countries across the world,” ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, according to PTI. “As far as we are concerned, we will take all necessary steps, including engagements with relevant stakeholders, to ensure our energy security.” Kumar claimed that while the US had asked India to stop importing oil from Iran, there was no talk of snapping ties with that country.

Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier, after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of oil to India between April 2017 and January 2018, PTI reported.

In May, the Donald Trump administration pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, and reimposed sanctions that the Barack Obama dispensation had lifted in 2015, in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme. On Tuesday, a top US State Department official warned that Washington will not be “granting waivers” under the new sanctions regime and described tightening the noose on Tehran as “one of our top national security priorities.”

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