India on Friday welcomed the US announcement allowing it to keep buying crude oil from Iran and said it was examining the details of the exemptions. The US on Monday reimposed sanctions on the import of crude oil from Iran but temporarily allowed India, China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan, and Turkey to continue the purchase from Iran without any penalty.
“We appreciate that the US government has taken into account our need for energy security and understood our sensitivities on this matter. We welcome this. We are now examining the details of the exemption,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Asked whether India was going to reduce crude oil imports from Iran, Kumar did not give a direct reply but said Iranian oil was very important for India’s energy security.
“India is a major importer of crude oil from Iran. This is very important for our own energy security needs. We appreciate the fact that US has shown understanding of our position and have said that their intention is not to hurt India,” he said.
“I am not at the liberty to give you details about the quantum of crude oil that we will continue to import,” he added.
The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said India also appreciated the US for exempting it from sanctions for the development of the strategically-located Chabahar port in Iran.
“We have taken note of the US statement that exception has been provided under the Iran Freedom and Counter Proliferation Act of 2012, with respect to development of Chabahar Port and the construction of an associated railway line,” Kumar said.
“We appreciate that the US recognised the role which this port will play to bring strategic and long term benefits to Afghanistan, as well as enhance Afghanistan’s connectivity with the outside world,” he added.