Not letting the recent bomb blast in front of the Israeli Embassy in Delhi hamper its relationship, India is firm on sending a high-level business and official delegation to Iran this month-end to explore trade and export potential after imposition of sanctions by the U.S. and European Union.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said India's trade relations with Iran would not be affected by the bomb attacks.“We are determined to go ahead with the crucial visit of the trade delegation. We are looking at Iran as a potential investment and trade destination and the delegation will seek to enhance the economic engagement with Tehran,” he added.
Iran is India's second-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, providing around 12 per cent of crude oil needs. India says it will abide only by UN sanctions, and will not implement those by individual nations. Indian trade lobbies have said Iran offered huge potential for export of products and commodities worth over $10 billion annually. The Commerce and Industry Ministry is already working on the proposed visit and the composition of the delegation.
State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) have also indicated that they will continue to source their crude oil supplies from Iran and see no reason to tap any other market. Only last week, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) signed a deal with Iran for supply of 3 million tonnes of crude oil for 2012-13.