German minister requests India to keep buying Iran’s oil, despite US pressure

Tasnim – The German minister of state for International Affairs Neils Annen in an interview with Indian TV on Wednesday expressed hope that India will continue buying oil from Iran.

“It will be India’s sovereign decision. I am not a salesman for Iran but I have an impression that India is willing to continue buying oil from Iran and this will be a very important statement,” the German minister said, adding that Germany will act in its own interest and hopes that India, too, will continue buying Iranian oil.

Germany has called US pressure exerted on its allies to comply with sanctions on Iran “irritating, to put it mildly” and expressed hope that India will continue buying oil from Iran.

The German Minister Niels Annen was on a two-day visit to New Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday and his observations came a day after India and US agreed to continue consultations on the proposed American sanctions on Iran.

Germany is one of the US allies in Europe which has developed differences on several issues in recent past including Iran nuclear deal, NATO funding and Paris Climate treaty.

The US administration had set a deadline for reducing oil trade with Iran to “zero” by November 4, when Washington implements second layer of sanctions against that country.

Less than three weeks before the first wave of US sanctions against Iran kicks in, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V K on Thursday made it clear that its bilateral relations with Tehran in terms of both oil imports and investment in Chabahar port in the wake of the US sanctions against Iran stand on their own and are not influenced by its ties with any third country.

Iran’s embassy in New Delhi released a statement last week, saying, “Iran understands the difficulties of India in dealing with (an) unstable energy market and it has done and will do its best to ensure security of oil supply to India.”

Iran is the third-biggest oil supplier to India and has offered refiners incentives including almost-free shipping and an enhanced credit period on oil sales.