India to observe US sanctions on Iranian oil

AP — India said Tuesday it will buy crude oil from other major oil producing countries in view of the United States’ decision this week to end waivers that allowed it to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said the Indian government would continue to work with partner nations, including the United States, to find ways to protect India’s energy and economic security interests.

India bought 23.6 million tons of Iranian oil in the financial year ending in March 2019, said Y.K Baweja, India’s Petroleum Ministry spokesman. He did not give details of India’s plans after the U.S. waiver ends on May 2.

Iran was the third largest oil supplier for India after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Imports account for more than 80% of India’s oil needs.

In November, the U.S. granted a six-month waiver to India and seven other countries to continue importing oil from Iran. Washington decided to eliminate all Iranian oil revenue, which it says funds destabilizing activity throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The sanctions would choke off more than $50 billion a year in Iranian income, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Washington on Monday.