Spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry noted that India will comply to American demands to cut imports from-and-to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The demand, which was made by the U.S. State Department, asked from all countries around the world to cut oil imports from Iran to zero or face crippling sanctions. “I think it talks about reducing imports of oil from Iran to 0 by fourth November. It should be noted that the statement was not India specific and it applies to all countries across the world. As far as we are concerned, we will take all necessary steps, including engagement with relevant stakeholders,” Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Raveesh Kuman said.
According to media reports, India’s oil ministry has asked refiners to prepare for a ‘drastic reduction’ to zero imports of Iranian oil from November. India has said it does not recognize unilateral restrictions imposed by the United States, and instead follows UN sanctions. But an industry sources said that India, which is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, will be forced to act to protect its exposure to the U.S. financial system. While Iran’s economy continues to draw blows due to nearing U.S. sanctions, the most significant benefactor to Iran’s misery is Tehran’s arch rival Saudi Arabia, which – according to an oil industry source – plans to pump a record amount of oil in July, amounting to a staggering 11 million barrels per day. Saudi’s move may further force Iran into a corner, as ‘regardless of attempts of the European Union and China to preserve the nuclear deal’, refineries are reportedly winding down purchases of Iranian oil, to lower the risk of facing U.S. sanctions.