The second wave of US sanctions on Iran has started and it will hit its oil exports, shipping and banks—all considered as key parts of the Middle-East country’s economy. This apart, the US Treasury and the Department of State have placed over 700 Iranian firms and individuals in the sections list. The stated aim of US sanctions is to cripple Iran’s missile and nuclear programme and hit its economy hard so that it may lose its political, diplomatic and strategic weight in the Middle-East region. Eight countries, including India, Japan and China, have been temporarily granted a waiver from US sanctions on their import of oil from Iran. That means after a few months, specifically six months from November 5 when the second phase of US sanctions on Iran began–those countries which have been currently granted the waiver will face the music if they continue to have a business with Tehran.
This is certainly a dictate that no sovereign country will accept. India has already stated in the public that it abides by sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not those imposed by any another country. India, the second largest Iranian oil buyer after China, imports more than 17 per cent of crude oil from Iran. The US asks it to restrict its monthly purchase to 1.25 million tonnes or 15 million tonnes a year from 22.6 million tonnes bought in the 2017-18 financial year. Given the circumstance when global oil price is increasing and national currency against US dollar has weakened substantially, India has no intention to abide by the US dictates to bring oil import from Iran to zero level even after May 2019. Even China, which is already not sharing good relations with the US on the trade and commerce front, will do what suits its economic, political and strategic interests. Read more
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