NEW DELHI: Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said on Tuesday that the country will continue to buy oil from Iran, adding that it will not seek a waiver from United States on a fresh round of sanctions against it to curb its nuclear programme.
Since December 31, US has imposed new sanctions on any financial institution dealing with Iran’s Central Bank. But, the US also allows waivers for countries, depending on case-by-case basis. “We have accepted sanctions which are made by the United Nations. Other sanctions do not apply to individual countries. We don’t accept that position. We continue to buy oil from Iran,” Mathai told reporters here.
Asked if India will seek a waiver from US on the sanctions, Mathai said blandly, “No”. An delegation is already in Iran trying to devise ways for routing payment to Iran for its crude. “A delegation is on its way to work out the mechanism for continued purchase of oil from Iran and to work out the financing mechanism.” he said.
India imports about 12 per cent of its oil from Iran, making it among its biggest customers.
In 2010, the RBI had scrapped the previous clearance mechanism, which led Indian and Iranian officials to work out another alternate way for payment. Turkey’s Halkbank had been used currently as the conduit, but it looks fragile due to the current US sanctions.