Alwaght- Iran reproaches India's decision to halt oil import from the Islamic republic due to US unilateral sanctions.
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a group of visiting Indian journalists that New Delhi has actually put itself “on the receiving end” of Washington's “bullying” caving in to illegal sanctions and ending oil imports from Iran.
“India has certainly taken a stance against the sanctions… so that’s been encouraging, (but) of course, we expected our friends to be more resilient vis-a-vis US pressure,” Zarif said.
India was Iran’s second largest oil customer, importing 457,000 barrels of oil a day before the US unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018.
India stopped importing oil from Iran in May 2019 after the White house terminated sanctions waivers for major buyers of crude from the Islamic Republic in an attempt to bring Iran’s oil exports to “zero.”
The top Iranian diplomat stressed that he understood why India “did not want to agitate” the US by being a sanctions spoiler.
“People want to be on the right side of President [Donald] Trump,” but the problem is “he hasn’t got a right side,” he added.
Zarif said India had placed itself “on the receiving end” of the US “bullying” by agreeing to abide by the American sanctions.
"You’re already being bullied by the US because they’re telling you not to buy oil from us” and “if you can’t lift oil from us, we won’t be able to buy Indian rice,” he said, expressing confidence that centuries-old Tehran-New Delhi ties would not be affected by US bans.
Zarif said Iran "will continue to sell its oil and countries will continue to buy it."
"Iranian oil always has customers. The only difference is a bunch of people will make a lot of money buying oil at a discount and selling it to others” at higher prices, he explained.
Iran is a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and sits on what were already the world's fourth-biggest oil reserves and second-largest gas reserves.
Recently, a new oil field containing 53 billion barrels of crude was discovered in Iran's southwestern Khuzestan Province.
The new find would add around 34 percent to Iran's current proven reserves, estimated by the Oil & Gas Journal at 158 billion barrels of crude oil and representing almost 10 percent of the world's crude reserves.