Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

India cuts Iranian oil imports in June ahead of US sanctions

India cuts Iranian oil imports in June ahead of US sanctions

Empathetic to the difficulties being faced by India because of US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, Rahaghi, however, said: "If India were to replace Iran with countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, US and others for the 10 per cent of its oil demand then it may have to revert to dollar-denominated imports which mean higher CAD and deprivation of all other privileges Iran has offered to India".

The secretary of State's comments came as the USA steps up pressure on Iran after President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday Kavanaugh offers lengthy judicial record ahead of bitter confirmation fight Hundreds protest Kavanaugh's nomination outside Supreme Court MORE's announcement in May that he would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, which sought to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.

He also made a cortesy call to the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in May that U.S. will apply economic and military pressure against Iran and will impose "the strongest sanctions in history" on the Islamic Republic.

Iranian crude oil imports into India fell by 15.9 percent in June from May, or to 592,800 bpd from more than 705,000 bpd in the previous month, Reuters reports, citing shipping data.

Although there were no concrete pledges or deadlines, they also vowed efforts to keep open financial channels with Iran, promote export credit cover, and maintain open air, sea, and overland transport links. "That's the commitment we have had for decades".

In Tehran, Iran's deputy parliament speaker Ali Motahari praised Rouhani for making the threat.

Eshaq Jahangiri said Washington was trying to stop Iran's petrochemical, steel and copper exports.

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"Trump administration will push for zero crude, condensate and products exports from Iran", said Sri Paravaikkarasu, Head of East of Suez Oil at energy consultancy FGE.

Already, regular gasoline prices in the United States are $2.86 a gallon, up from $2.26 the year before, according to AAA.

"... If India were to replace Iran with countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the U.S. and others for the 10 per cent of its oil demand then it may have to revert to dollar-denominated imports which mean higher CAD (Current Account Deficit) and deprivation of all other privileges Iran has offered to India", Rahaghi said.

Shipping to Iran and ports in the country are also coming under the United States sanctions.

Rahaghi pointed out that certain privileges extended to India by Iran between 2012 and 2015 had helped New Delhi to continue importing oil from Tehran through the sanctions before the Iran Nuclear Deal (Joint Comprehensive Place of Action) was signed.

India is also expected to convey to the USA the importance of the Chabahar port project considering that it can be a major link for trade with war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Pompeo, who earlier visited Afghanistan, Japan, North Korea and Vietnam on his trip, left the UAE heading for a NATO summit in Brussels that Trump will attend.

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