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Page added on July 27, 2012
India has finally agreed to follow U.S. sanctions against Iran and recently banned at least four shipments of crude oil to the country.
India was allowing the local Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and some other state refineries to import Iranian crude oil on cost, insurance and freight basis — wherein Tehran was to arrange for ships and insurance, and would receive no profit from the sale. It was a loophole that New Delhi was apparently comfortable enough jumping through.
But within days, the government revoked the permission and MRPL, the nation’s largest importer of Iranian oil, could only land one out of four July shipments, The Economic Times of India reported on Friday.
It is unclear what caused the sudden change of heart.
Washington sanctioned the National Iranian Tanker Company and its 58 vessels in its campaign to curtail Iran’s oil sales until it abandons illicit aspects of its disputed nuclear program. Iran has been moving around the sanctions, in part, by selling oil at cost, selling to countries that are not taking part in the sanctions, such as Japan, or finding partner nations that will allow Iran to re-flag their shape as if it were of a different national origin.
MRPL had in 2011-12 contracted 7.3 million tons of crude oil from Iran but imported only 6.2 million tons because India reduced its imports from Iran in order to get a waiver from U.S. sanctions. This year, it plans to import just 5 million tons. Iran is the fourth largest oil supplier in India.
“While India has won waiver from sanctions for its import of crude oil from Iran, shipping is not covered in that,” MRPL Director of Finance Vishnu Agrawal told the ET.