New Delhi: Even before reports of a US government official warning the Indian government against buying oil from Iran died down, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley met PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday and reiterated that it was important for India to cut its dependence on Iranian oil.
Haley, however, added that the United States would still allow India to use the Chabahar port as a corridor to Afghanistan.
The United States has told countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November and is not willing to give waivers to any country, a senior State Department official said as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on allies to cut off funding to Iran.
The official had also warned India of secondary sanctions for going against the ban. He added that Indian and Chinese companies would be subject to the same sanctions as those in other countries.
With this, the United States has once again asserted that India and others, including China, will have to stop their imports of crude oil from Iran by November 4 and thus, abide by the re-imposed US sanctions on the Middle East nation.
"On China and India, yes, certainly," a state department official told reporters when asked if the US has told all countries, including India and China, to stop all their imports of Iranian oil by November 4.
The official further warned India of secondary sanctions for going against the ban. He added that Indian and Chinese companies would be subject to the same sanctions as those in other countries.
Given the huge energy needs, India and China are major importers of Iranian oil with India being the second largest buyer of Iran’s crude oil and Beijing being the third.
On the other hand, the Chabahar port complex in Iran is being developed as part of a new transportation corridor for land-locked Afghanistan that could potentially open the way for millions of dollars in trade and cut its dependence on Pakistan.