Iran Hopeful on Oil Imports based on National Interest

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Amid US sanctions, and growing tension between US and Iran, Iran on Tuesday said it believes India will act in its national interest on the issue of oil imports and Tehran can act as a “protector” of India’s energy security.

Iran’s Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni asserted that his country can provide “affordability, accessibility and security” of energy to India.

The Iranian envoy also stressed on the possibility of using barter, rupee and European mechanisms for trade in oil with India and other countries to circumvent the US sanctions.

His remarks are significant as they come days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had assured India that America is “doing everything” to ensure crude oil imports to New Delhi in the wake of the situation arising out of sanctions on importing oil from Iran.

“We expect from a friend…that we understand each other, follow our national interest and Iran is ready for being the protector of energy security of India,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a Iran-India cultural event here. Chegeni said probably the oil import may have been stopped but Iran had not got any “negative signal” from India that they would do so in future.

“We think India is under pressure, but we believe India is a friend of Iran. India’s relations with other countries do not affect us. Our relations with India are based on history, it is based on long-term mutual benefit and interest,” the envoy said. The US had told India and other countries to cut oil imports from the Gulf nation to “zero” by November 4 or face sanctions.

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