Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S. Jaipal Reddy on Thursday assured the Lok Sabha that India would never allow its sovereignty to be affected in any manner on the oil import issue.

On the “import of oil from Iran, the government is perfectly free to take a decision. We respect the United Nations’ sanctions against Iran. We do not take notice of sanctions imposed by other countries, other blocks of countries,” he said replying to questions in the House.

However, the oil companies, keeping various developments in view, took decisions from time to time, he added.

Mr. Reddy’s statement is significant as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was in India early this week, had urged the country to do “even more” to cut its purchases of oil from sanctions-hit Iran to keep pressure on that country to prove its nuclear programme was peaceful.

Mr. Reddy added that India was importing oil from Iran according to the requirements. It was for the oil marketing companies to decide. “However, these things are not monitored by the Government. It is for the companies to take a decision,” he added.

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