New Delhi: The oil ministry has asked refiners to prepare for a “drastic reduction or zero” imports of Iranian oil from November, two industry sources said, the first sign that New Delhi is responding to a push by the United States to cut trade ties with Iran.
India has said it does not recognise unilateral restrictions imposed by the United States, and instead follows UN sanctions. But the industry sources said India, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, will be forced to take action to protect its exposure to the US financial system.
The oil ministry held a meeting with refiners on Thursday, urging them to scout for alternatives to Iranian oil, the sources said.
“(India) has asked refiners to be prepared for any eventuality, since the situation is still evolving. There could be drastic reduction or there could be no import at all,” said one of the sources, who has knowledge of the matter.