TEHRAN, Aug. 15 (MNA) – India’s decision to buy more crude oil from Iran is unlikely to please the United States. It is a different matter that the sanctions imposed on Iran allow it to sell a part of its production.
Realism dictates India to turn increasingly to Tehran as it faces a major current account deficit problem on account of the burgeoning oil import bill.
Dollar-priced oil has become unaffordable in view of the depreciation in the value of the rupee vis-a-vis the dollar. One major attraction of Iranian oil is that it can be paid for in rupee. In other words, it makes good economic sense to buy as much Iranian oil as possible.
Good economic and political relations with Iran are in conformity with India’s strategic interests. The two nations have maintained good relations for long.
Sanctions-hit Iran can turn to India to meet most of its import needs, which will also help India to maintain the balance of payments position, tilted heavily in favor of Tehran.
India has even offered facilities of routing imports from other countries through India. There is no denying that Iran faces hardship, starved as it is of foreign exchange, despite vast oil resources.
Iran provides India the only corridor to channel goods meant for Afghanistan. India has been engaged in a massive program aimed at strengthening infrastructure and development in the landlocked nation. With the U.S. set to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, India wants to improve its engagement with Kabul.
It is, therefore, in the interest of both nations that there should be better political and economic relations.
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