While officially still defiant on the US demand to cut oil imports from Iran to zero before the November 4 deadline or face sanctions, New Delhi is hustling to find ways around the impending crisis, which involves not just India’s energy needs, but also the strategic port of Chabahar, which India is helping develop as a gateway into Afghanistan.
Even as Indian officials continued their hectic parleys with Washington for a waiver, a Reuters report said that India was expected to halve its oil imports from Iran in September-October.
However, bringing it down to zero by November is a tall ask given that oil from elsewhere is bound to be more expensive than the discounted rates being offered by Iran, and the fact most Indian refineries are geared for the kind of oil that Iran supplies.
Then there’s the fact that India is heading into an election year. Read more