India’s role in Afghanistan saved it from US sanctions for importing oil from Iran
New Delhi, Nov 3: India along with seven other nations have been exempted from sanctions getting imposed against them for importing oil from Iran. India remained undeterred to the US threat of imposing sanctions. India kept importing oil from Iran knowing it well that it will be saved from sanctions on being strategic partner of the US. Moreover, the US needs India's help to deal with Afghanistan problem and with sanctions in place the entire efforts would be derailed.
Announcing the imposition of sanctions targeting Iran's oil and gas exports, ports and banking system, secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that the US will grant waivers to 'eight jurisdictions' because they had "demonstrated significant reductions in crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts".
Former foreign secretary Shashank told Oneindia, "See! India has to keep its development needs in mind and also not to annoy the US at the same time. There are many ways to convince the US that this is essential for the country. So it must reconsider it decision." Shashank further said, "The government of India must also tell the US that India can play an important role in the Afghanistan where the US is stuck. So India, Iran and Afghanistan can jointly partner in the region to deal with the problem in which the US is stuck. So it must be given concession in buying oil with Iran and this is what was required and done."
The US needs a strategic partner as important as India in the region so this has happened. Besides India, the US has agreed to let seven more countries including Japan and South Korea to keep buying oil from Iran after it reimposes sanctions next week. China is also among those nations but terms and conditions for its waiver are being finalised. Despite threats from the US, India continued oil imports from Iran with now the US agreeing on waivers for eight countries regarding sanctions set to kick in on November 5, 2018. There are no plans to cut crude purchases from Tehran to zero.
Japan and South Korea temporarily stopped oil imports from Iran in September but Indian Oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals continued purchases though the overall volume dropped slightly from around 10 million barrels in October to nine million barrels for November.
India may also be given a carve out for operating Chabahar port in Iran that is being built with the assistance of India. Under the waiver clause the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan are linked to. This is the outcome of prolonged and complex negotiations between India and the US over the past few weeks, during which the Indian side highlighted its energy security concerns and problems related to finding a new supplier that could provide the same volumes at similar prices if imports from Iran were totally halted.