WASHINGTON India has ended all imports of oil from Iran, its ambassador in Washington says, becoming the latest country to grudgingly comply with threatened U.S. sanctions.
India had already sharply decreased its imports from Iran and bought one million tonnes of crude in April, the last month before Washington stepped up its pressure campaign against Tehran and ended all exemptions to sanctions, Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.
"That's it. After that, we haven't imported any," Shringla told reporters Thursday during a briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election victory.
No Venezuela oil, either
Shringla said that energy-hungry India has also ended all imports from Venezuela because it considered itself a partner of the United States. But he said the shift had caused pain at home, with Iran formerly supplying 10 percent of India's oil needs.
Calling Iran "an extended neighbor" of India with long-standing cultural links, Shringla declined to say whether New Delhi shared President Donald Trump's concerns about Tehran.
"This is an issue that has to be dealt with, really, between the United States and Iran. We are only, in many senses, looking at it as a third party," Shringla said.
But he added: "We would not like to see a move towards any escalation in any way in that area, for the simple reason that we depend very heavily on stability in that part of the world."
Source: Voice of America