Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting the Emirates

Eshaq Jahangiri

Imports from Iran, which now is India's third largest supplier of oil after Iraq and Saudi Arabia, are likely to come down gradually and will have to be replaced with more purchases from countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, they said, adding imports from Iran after November 4 will be possible only if Iran accepts alternates like rupee payments.

"It is unfortunate that Indian investment promises expansion of Chabahar port and its connectivity projects have not been accomplished so far. It is expected that India takes immediate necessary measures in this regard if its cooperation and engagement in Chabahar port is of strategic nature", he said.

India's oil imports from Iran declined by 15.9% in June, the first month after the United States said it would reimpose sanctions on the country, according to data from shipping and industry sources.

He made this statement during a seminar on "emerging challenges and opportunities in the global diplomacy and its impact on bilateral ties with India".

"We will consider (waivers) but make no mistake about it: We are determined to convince the Iranian leadership that this malign behavior won't be rewarded and that the economic situation in the country will not be permitted to be rectified until such time that they become a more-normal nation", he said.

A major maritime transport hub along this corridor was to be Chabahar, which India had promised to help finance.

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The senior envoy said Tehran understands India's energy requirements, and added that Iran is still an open market for Indian requirements such as petroleum, urea and liquefied natural gas.

While New Delhi says it does not recognise unilateral restrictions imposed by the United States on any country and instead follows UN sanctions, oil firms have been asked to be prepared for channels to pay for Iranian oil getting blocked by November, following sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation, they said. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of fiscal 2017-18).

Jahangiri said Iran's foreign ministry and the central bank have taken measures to facilitate Iran's banking operations despite the U.S. sanctions.

Iran on Wednesday said it will do its best to ensure the security of oil supply to India, asserting that it has been a reliable energy partner for New Delhi. He also stopped by the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi. "So the U.S. must abandon its policy of resorting to threats or use of force", said Mr Rahaghi.

The US said it would reimpose the sanctions after withdrawing from a 2015 agreement with Iran, Russia, China and several Western European countries where Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of earlier sanctions.

Mr Rahaghi also suggested that a regional dialogue forum should be set up in the Persian Gulf and West Asia to resolve regional crises.

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