With US President Donald Trump ending exemptions from sanctions for India and other countries buying oil from Iran, the Congress and the CPI(M) have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “stand up” to the American government.
The Congress said the US decision was a “direct assault and attack on India’s political and economic sovereignty”, adding that it was a failure of Modi’s “personalised diplomacy”.
“The American decision to impose sanctions from May 1 on countries that buy oil from Iran or have commercial ties with Iran with is a direct assault and attack on India’s political and economic sovereignty. It is a failure of Modi’s diplomacy that he could not convince the man whom he has hugged on more than one occasion,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.
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“It is not only a failure of the Modi government, it is a failure of Modi personally. Because he has personalised diplomacy like at no other point of time and therefore the American decision is an attack on India’s political and economic sovereignty and Modi must bear the full responsibility for this. He talks about every subject under the sun. Why is he silent on this” Why is not standing up” If you are a true nationalist…then say it is not possible for us to accept. We will not tolerate this and we will purchase oil from where our government decides,” Ramesh said.
The Congress leader said international oil prices are bound to increase because of the US move, which will have implications on domestic price of petrol, diesel and cooking gas. “So what is required today is an active diplomatic offensive on the part of the Indian government to use all the economic and diplomatic weapons it has to convince the Americans…” he said.
Meanwhile, the CPI(M) said “any step to stop importing oil from Iran will harm India’s energy security and national interests”.
“Earlier, the External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, had stated that India will not adhere to any sanctions except those adopted by the United Nations. Since UN has unilaterally imposed these illegal sanctions, the BJP led government must reject these sanctions and continue to buy oil from Iran which is in the country’s interests,” the party said.