Two representatives from the Indian government will meet with top US officials to discuss India’s position on Iran sanctions as the November deadline nears.
Iran sanctions reimposed by Trump administration
Reuters is reporting that a senior Indian government official says India will not completely stop purchasing Iranian crude and plans to finalize its strategy on crude purchases from Iran after a meeting with two top US officials next week.
“Definitely we are not going to zero”, said the official who has direct knowledge of India’s crude purchase policy. But, the official added that there would be more clarity on India’s position after the meeting.
India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sept. 6.
After withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the US is pushing all countries to stop buying Iranian crude. India is looking for a waiver from the US which would allow it to continue to purchase Iranian oil after the sanctions are back in place on November 4.
US President Donald Trump has threatened that anyone trading with Iran will not be able to do business with the United States.
A number of countries involved in the 2015 deal are working with Iran to try to keep Tehran in the agreement, however, several European companies have already cut ties with Iran in an effort to save their US business.
India says it is not yet committed to fully complying with the Trump sanctions, but Reuters reports it says that it is prepared to cut Iranian crude imports to protect its wider exposure to the US financial system.
In the previous round of sanctions, India continued to buy Iranian oil, but it had to cut its imports because shipping, insurance and banking channels were choked off while the US and European sanctions were in place.