India on Thursday said it will do whatever is mandated to be done in its national interest regarding the import of oil from Iran after the United States warned of sanctions.
In response to comments made by Iran Deputy Ambassador and Charge d’Affaires Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi that New Delhi would stand to lose “special privileges” if it cut import of Iranian oil, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said his remarks were misquoted and that the Iranian embassy too had issued a clarification in this regard.
“For India, Iran is an important partner for energy and connectivity,” Kumar said at a press conference on Thursday. “In the clarification by the Iranian embassy, they have explained a lot of things... It got reported, it got misquoted and they thought there was a need to clarify. They have understood our position and of course, and we do share a very strong relationship.”
Kumar said that India was in touch with Iran on several issues, including on US’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, signed in 2015.
On the US reaching out to India over reducing oil imports from Iran, Kumar said the US State Department had said “they would like to get in touch with or they are prepared to engage in discussions” with various countries. “They did not specify India. We will see what necessary steps we need to take in this.”
“One thing is very clear that whatever is mandated to be done in our national interest, those things we will be doing,” Kumar said.
The US in June insisted that its allies, including India, end all imports of crude oil from Iran by November 4 when sanctions against Iran come into effect again. A US State Department official said countries would be subject to sanctions if oil imports from Iran are not cut to zero.