Hardeep Puri distances himself from U.S. sanctioning Indian company for Iran oil transactions

Hardeep Singh Puri on a visit to Washington DC and Houston characterised it as a private sector transaction caught up in sanctions

October 08, 2022 02:41 am | Updated 02:43 am IST - WASHINGTON DC:

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. | Photo Credit: Sriram Lakshman

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri distanced himself from the issue of U.S. sanctions, announced by the U.S. Treasury last week, on eight firms, including an Indian company, Tibalaji Petrochem Pvt Ltd, for dealing in petrochemical products with Iran and violating American sanctions. The minister, on a visit to Washington DC and Houston, characterised it as a private sector transaction caught up in sanctions.

“There’s a system in place in terms of sanctions. As far as the government of India is concerned, as a government which is anchored in the rule of law, and in international law, I think the government’s position has been absolutely clear,” he said in response to a question from The Hindu during a press briefing at the Indian Embassy in Washington on Friday afternoon.

“So if any individual entity was buying from one place to another, I am not, I think, obliged to… because, you know …these are private entities,” he said, adding that he did not wish to comment on it.

Later during the press briefing, the minister said the issue had not come up in his discussions including with the U.S. presidential envoy for international energy, Amos Hochstein. Emphasizing India’s large size, the minister said “some company somewhere has bought from one person and sold to the other”.

“ They’ve [the U.S.] put it under the scanner and sanctioned it. This is not something that features in discussions between us. At least certainly didn’t feature in my discussions,” he said.

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