India rejects pending U.S. sanctions on Iran

India is expected to continue its oil-purchases from Iran after the 4th November, when a series of U.S. sanctions will be implemented against Tehran’s oil and banking industries. The Indian decision to continue business as usual with Iran has infuriated the Trump Administration, which demands from all countries worldwide to completely halt oil imports from the Islamic Republic. U.S. officials emphasized that the international community must choose between doing business with Iran or the United States, threatening to sanction any country that does not comply. New Delhi, however, does not seem impressed by the American threat. India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced at the beginning of this week that two Indian state refineries have already placed orders from Iran and will continue to do so in the future. In addition to the purchase of oil, India has also signed a 5 billion dollars deal with Russia to purchase its most advanced S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems, a decision that could lead to additional U.S. sanctions under Washington’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. During a White House meeting, President Trump was asked whether India would be sanctioned for its latest decisions, the American leader replied that “India is going to find out…Sooner than you think.” President Trump did not elaborate on the matter, however, U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the United States was very clear to all countries about its commitment to re-enforce its sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. U.S. State Department Spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, stated that “We’ve given the same message to all countries around the world, and the President has said, and that’s that the United States is committed to re-enforcing all of our sanctions. We believe that countries coming together and recognizing the malign influence that Iran has had around the world is important. We know that Iran and the Government of Iran has taken the benefits that it received under the JCPOA and they’ve poured that money not into their own population, not into the good of the people, not into its medical hospitals and things of that nature, but rather they’ve used it for its own nefarious programs.”