Sunday, 18 November, 2018


Iran warns India - 'Will end special privileges'

Eshaq Jahangiri Modal Trigger Eshaq Jahangiri REUTERS
Conrad Doyle | 12 July, 2018, 15:31

The US secretary of state is in the Belgian capital Brussels, where he plans to hold meetings with European Union officials to step up pressure on Iran.

While the United States wants all countries, India included, to reduce oil imports from Iran to zero, Washington's ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had said a fortnight ago that the Americans were open to working with New Delhi on Chabahar in view of its strategic importance, particularly with regard to Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump said in May he would pull the United States out of an global nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose USA sanctions.

Iran called US' approach a "selfish" one and said that it must abandon "its policy of resorting to threats or use of force".

Empathetic to the difficulties being faced by India because of US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, Rahaghi, however, said: "If India were to replace Iran with countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, US and others for the 10 per cent of its oil demand then it may have to revert to dollar-denominated imports which mean higher CAD and deprivation of all other privileges Iran has offered to India". "The zero tolerance policy and the pace with which it is moving no doubt concerns Iran's current crude buyers".

Isolating Iran could sideline millions of barrels of oil per day from a market with little spare capacity left. Overall purchases climbed on a higher intake of crude from Mexico, the United States and Azerbaijan.

He also criticised India for not making investments in the expansion of Chabahar port in Iran as promised with the signing of a pact in May 2016.

State refiners, accounting for about 60% of India's almost 5 million bpd of refining capacity, lifted about 10% more Iranian volumes in June compared to May, at about 454,000 bpd, the data showed. The sources declined to be identified since they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Since the USA signaled a harder line against Iran's oil exports last month, analysts have started to warn that many more Iranian barrels would be removed from the market than initially expected, and the thinning global spare capacity as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation raise production would boost oil prices. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of fiscal 2017-18). Imports by state refiners during the period more than doubled to about 413,400 bpd from 191,700 bpd, the data showed.

"Today, enemies of the Islamic Iran seek to create dissatisfaction in the society through portraying the system's points of strength as weakness and focusing on economic war while the Islamic system is steadfastly moving on the path of progress", he said.

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