New Delhi: India on Friday welcomed the US waivers given to India to exempt it from sanctions over both the import of Iranian oil and its participation in the Chabahar port project in Iran, saying, it “appreciates and welcomes” the fact that the “US government has taken in to account our need for energy security and understood our sensitivities on this matter”.
The ministry of external affairs (MEA), however, declined to reveal just how much Iranian oil would be imported by India amid reports that there would be significant reduction by New Delhi on the quantum of import of Iranian oil.
New Delhi said it was “examining” details of the waivers. The United States had earlier given a deadline of November 4 to countries across the world to either stop buying Iranian oil completely or face US sanctions. The waivers given to India mean New Delhi can continue to import some quantity of Iranian oil and also continue to participate in the Chabahar port project.
On the waivers given on Indian participation in the development of the Chabahar Port in Iran as well as construction of an associated railway line, New Delhi also said it appreciated the fact that the “US recognised the role which this port will play to bring strategic and long term benefits to Afghanistan as well as enhance Afghanistan’s connectivity with the outside world”.
It may be recalled that the Chabahar port project will give India sea-land connectivity to Afghanistan and central Asia through Iran.
The Chabahar project has enabled India to bypass Pakistan which had earlier refused to grant New Delhi access for shipment of wheat through the direct land route to Afghanistan from India that passes through Pakistani territory.
In a statement, the MEA said, “We have seen the US notification, including India in the list of countries granted Significant Reduction Exemption for continued purchase of Iranian crude oil without attracting US sanctions. We appreciate that the US government has taken in to account our need for energy security and understood our sensitivities on this matter. We welcome this. We are now examining the details of the exemption.”