NEW DELHI: A day after US did not include India among the countries exempted from its sanctions against Iran, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai pointed out that imports of Iranian oil for 2011-12 had declined to 17 million tonnes.
“What I was told, we might be ending financial year with 17 million tonnes of oil imports from Iran,” Mathai told reporters on Wednesday. This is a decline of eight percent from last fiscal’s Iranian oil imports of 18.499 million tonnes. On Tuesday, the US said that it would not impose sanctions against Japan and 10 EU nations as they had started to pare Iranian oil purchases. When asked as to why India was not part of this group, Mathai said, “I would request you to direct your query to the Americans”.
But, when asked whether India was consciously bringing down imports from Iran, he pointed that it was a ‘general policy’ of the Indian Government ‘to diversify our imports’.
However, he indicated that this was not being directed top-down from the government.
On the recent Indian delegation to Iran, Mathai said that the group had ‘useful discussions’ on way to increase Indian exports, but no concrete document or deals had yet been finalised.