India to cut oil imports from Iran

New Delhi: Responding to a push by the United States to cut trade ties with Iran, New Delhi is gearing up to cut oil imports from Iran. India’s oil ministry has asked refiners to prepare for a “drastic reduction or zero” of imports of Iranian oil starting in November.

Although, India has said it does not recognise unilateral restrictions imposed by the US, and instead follows UN sanctions, according to industry sources India, will be forced to take action to protect its exposure to the US financial system.

India’s oil ministry held a meeting with refiners on Thursday and urged them to scout for alternatives to Iranian oil. Refiners are asked to be prepared for any eventuality.

It must be noted that during the previous round of sanctions, India was one of the few countries that continued to buy Iranian oil, although it had to reduce imports as shipping, insurance and banking channels were choked due to the European and US sanctions.