India says to continue trade with Iran despite US threats

MNA – India’s government asserted on Wednesday that it has no plans to halt trade with the Islamic Republic of Iran despite stern words from the US.

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muralidharan said India’s relations with Iran remain unchanged and are “not influenced by relations with a third country”, Sputnik reported.

The cabinet minister said there is no specific government-to-government agreement on the import of crude from Iran. “Such imports are based on commercial contracts between companies,” the minister added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iranian Ambassador to India Ali Chegini asserted that Iran can provide “affordability, accessibility and security” in the energy sector to India, according to Sputnik.

“We expect from a friend…that we understand each other, follow our national interest, and Iran is ready to be the protector of the energy security of India,” the ambassador said adding that Iran had not got any “negative signal” from India that they would do so in future.

India had initially opted to bow to the US sanctions after the Trump administration decided to end the waivers on 2 May that it granted to eight of Iran’s top oil customers — China, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Greece and Turkey, which had been issued last November.