Following the recent attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil installations, which have led to disruptions in supplies from Saudi Arabia, Indian authorities have renewed their efforts to persuade the United States to lift sanctions on imports of oil from Iran, Press TV reported.
A Tuesday report on the website of the Mint, an Indian financial newspaper, showed that India had held fresh talks with the government of the U.S. President Donald Trump on renewed energy imports from Iran. India stopped crude imports from Iran on May 2 after the White House toughened its sanctions on Iran and removed waivers granted to India and several other countries.
New Delhi used to be Iran’s second top buyer of oil before American sanctions were imposed in November with imports exceeding 20 million tons a year. India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that resuming oil imports from Iran had never turned into a “static” issue and authorities were trying to find a solution to the problem.
“We are in dialogue with all suppliers including Iran,” said Jaishankar, adding that India wanted to ensure that supplies of energy into the country would remain predictable and affordable. The remarks come after attacks on Saturday on key oil installations in Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq cut the kingdom’s production in half.
The attacks, claimed by Yemen’s armed forces, sent shockwaves across the global markets and caused a historic surge in prices while sparking serious concerns in energy-thirsty countries like India about the future of oil supplies. While trying to revive imports from Iran, India has said it would seek a contract with Russia to secure a long-term supply of oil from the country.
Last months, Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the U.S. decision on ending waivers for the purchase of Iranian oil is hurting India’s economy, Sputnik reported.
“It was an important priority for the U.S. and we went along with it. But we also expect the United States to show similar sensibility when it comes to our priorities,” Shringla told Sputnik on the sidelines of an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington. “It has been a challenge to find alternative sources of oil at the same price and quality, and it has affected the bottom line in India,” he claimed.