The United States of America will go ahead with its November 4th sanctions in regards to Iranian crude oil. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the US embassy in New Delhi told reporters that, “it is our expectation that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country or sanctions will be imposed.” The Trump administration withdrew from the landmark Iran nuclear deal- Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOPA) in May this year.
India is in a diplomatic turmoil; over the years, the government has been trying to build and strengthen its relations with Iran. India’s heart lies in the Chabahar port. Moreover, India is also part of the ‘International North-South Corridor (INSC)’ which runs through Iran connecting India and Russia. Through the INSC, India will easily have access to West Asia.
But as of now, India has buckled under US and Iran’s sour relations. According to an article in the International Policy Digest, ‘India – Iran Ties Under the American Shadow’, “India – US relation has been moving towards a common goal of maintaining free, open and a rule-based Indo-Pacific as a deterrence against China’s rise.”
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The US has sent a very clear message to India to prioritize its friends and partners. According to a report by Hindustan Times, “Indian officials maintained that it would not be a viable proposition for India to reduce the oil imports Iran to zero.” India upholds its ties with Iran. A second Indian official said, “the ties with Iran are important for us. We are hopeful of finding a solution through the discussions that don’t affect our economic priorities and ties with Iran and factors in our relationship with the US.”
India is torn between two countries – Iran and the US. The government has to put its foot down as India is still developing and depends more than ever on its foreign relations. Will breaking oil ties with Iran benefit India in the long run? Should India continue to bow to US’s command? India has to think for the good of its people, business and the nation as a whole.
India is one of the top buyers of Iranian crude oil.