Iran has no fear over new U.S. sanctions: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
02 November, 2018, 16:56 | Author: Lucy Floyd
The U.S. had called for all countries to "zero out" their oil purchases from Iran, which India has not done.
The lack of clarity about US waivers from sanctions, who's getting such waivers (if at all), and how much reductions would be required for possibly winning a waiver, has been clouding the outlook for Iran's oil supply to the market, while the sanctions snap back in just four days.
"We (India and US) are in talks".
According to an Economic Times report, the United States has broadly agreed to grant India a waiver from Iran sanctions, which would allow Indian oil companies to continue to import about 1.25 million tonnes of oil a month till March from Tehran. But we are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of fiscal 2017-18).
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According to sources, Indian oil firms will have to reduce their imports significantly as a condition of the waiver. They still have to decide on how to split the quantum and on the form of payments, the source said.
How companies will pay for Iranian oil is still being negotiated between India and Iran, sources said, adding that it's likely that the two countries will stick to the existing mechanism under which 55% of payment is made in euro and 45% in rupee through UCO Bank.
A waiver will come as a big relief to Indian Oil and MRPL, the two largest Iranian oil consumers. "And the sanctions that are reimposed on November 5 will target critical sectors of Iran's economy, such as energy, shipping and the ship-building sectors, as well as the provision of insurance and transactions involving the Central Bank of Iran and designated Iranian financial institutions".
The Indian side, while building its case for a waiver, assured the USA that this payment mechanism ensures Iran can't use oil money from India for any terror-related activity, a key American concern.
The source said US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was expected to announce the number of exemptions later on Friday.
Refineries using Iranian oil have also faced insurance issues during renewals in recent months. Currently, Iran provides its tankers as well as insurance for oil cargoes to India. The Trump administration has rebuffed them and gone ahead with its sanctions plan, arguing that nations, banks and businesses worldwide will decide they'd rather do business with the USA than Iran and leave the market. The leader said it's possible Iran will face more hard times ahead, but asserted that the government will use all its power to reduce any problems.
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