India says in talks with US on import of Iranian oil

MNA – India said on Thursday it was engaged in talks with the US over extending a waiver beyond May 4 for the import of Iranian crude, according to local news outlets.

“We are engaged [in talks] with the US….The important thing is that we will continue our engagement with the US on the issue,” New Delhi-based NDTV quoted Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar during a media briefing on Thursday.

In November, the US granted a six-month waiver to India, China, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea to continue importing oil from Iran as Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on the country.

“We have been in touch with the US since the first waiver came. The waiver lapses on May 4 this year. Let’s wait and see what happens. But the important thing is that we will continue our engagement to see if we are taking care of our energy needs,” the spokesperson said, according to another Indian news outlet.

India, the world’s third biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80 per cent of its oil needs through imports. Iran is its third largest supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia and meets about 10 per cent of India’s total needs.