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We will continue to buy oil from Iran: India
4/13/2013 9:56:33 AM
“We will continue to buy oil from Iran,” Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said, adding that the recent decline in oil import from Iran was due to logistics and banking problems and not because of any other reason.
 
Mathai, who is part of the delegation accompanying Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Berlin, stressed that import decisions are taken by the oil marketing companies on commercial basis and the government has no role in the recent decline in the purchases from Iran. Refusing to “lay down a quota” for importing oil from any country, including Iran, top Indian officials have made it clear that it will buy oil from wherever it “gets the best deal”. 
 
Asked if there was a particular amount of oil supply India was looking at from Iran, they said there was no “magic figure”. “It makes no sense to have a quota. (It is) where we get the best deal. We have to get the best deal for India rather than lay down quotas and lay figures and restrict our freedom,” they said.
 
India is among Asia’s major importers of energy, and relies on the Islamic Republic to satisfy a portion of its energy requirements.
 
India has reiterated that it will not halt its oil imports from Iran despite the U.S.-engineered sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s oil sector, a report says.
 
Meanwhile, India’s state-run General Insurance Corp (GIC) has recently agreed to provide insurance cover for tankers carrying Iranian crude oil.
 
Indian refiners HPCL, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) and Essar are the main clients of Iranian crude oil.
 
At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union (EU) imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors.
 
The sanctions, which prevent the EU member states from purchasing Iran's oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1, 2012.
 
The illegal U.S.-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
 
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.