MEA welcomes US decision to exempt India from sanctions

New Delhi: The Indian government on Friday welcomed the decision by the United States administration to exempt Indian purchase of crude oil from Iran that will shield India from sanctions from the US.

“We have seen the US notification including India in the list of countries granted Significant Reduction Exemption for continued purchase of Iranian crude oil without attracting US sanctions,” Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

“We appreciate that the US Government has taken in to account our need for energy security and understood our sensitivities on this matter. We welcome this. We are now examining the details of the exemption,” the Spokesperson said.

“India is a major importer of crude oil from Iran. This is very important for our own energy security needs. We appreciate the fact that the US has shown understanding of our position and have said that their intention is not to hurt India. I am not at the liberty to give you details about the quantum of crude oil that we will continue to import,” Kumar said at a media briefing held on Friday.

Kumar also answered questions regarding the Chabahar Port during the briefing. “We have taken note of the US statement that exception has been provided under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 with respect to development of Chabahar Port and the construction of an associated railway line”, he said while adding: “We appreciate that the US recognised the role which this Port will play to bring strategic and long-term benefits to Afghanistan as well as enhance Afghanistan’s connectivity with the outside world.”