India may stop oil imports from Iran

April 24, 2019 12:49 am | Updated 07:35 am IST - New Delhi

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. File

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. File

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said the country plans to increase imports from major oil producing nations other than Iran, indicating that it will be acceding to the U.S. plan to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, a move criticised by the Congress.

The U.S. on Monday announced that it would be cancelling the waivers from sanctions it had granted eight countries, including India, allowing them to import oil from Iran. Following the revocation of this waiver, any country violating the ban would face U.S. sanctions.

Failure of Modi’s diplomacy, says Congress

Mr. Pradhan said that the government has put in place a robust plan for adequate supply of crude oil to Indian refineries. “There will be additional supplies from other major oil producing countries. Indian refineries are fully prepared to meet the national demand for petrol, diesel & other petroleum products,” he tweeted.

The Opposition, meanwhile, has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not speaking up about the U.S. sanctions, questioning how another country can dictate where and how India secures its energy requirements.

Terming it a “surgical strike” on India by the U.S., Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said the American decision to impose sanctions on those who continue to buy oil from Iran after May 1 was “a failure of diplomacy of the Prime Minister.”

Speaking at a press conference, he said the Congress demanded that Prime Minister Modi “break his silence” on the matter.

Ratings agency ICRA has estimated that stopping oil imports from Iran could cost Indian refineries as much as ₹2,500 crore.

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