Iran has always been one of India’s main suppliers of oil, second only to Iraq and Saudi Arabia, with exports that totalled more than 27 million tonnes last year. The figures make India Iran’s biggest buyer after China, and as a result, a target for the U.S. which has declared a campaign to “isolate Iran” after the Trump administration withdrew from the multilateral nuclear deal. For India, which has been told along with other buyers to take oil imports to “zero” by the cut-off date of November 4, its decisions on procuring Iran oil this point onwards is not so much about securing energy as it is about securing India’s standing in the world. If it rejects U.S. pressure, it risks sanctions as well as incurring the displeasure of its all-powerful friend and defence partner. If it yields, it risks its relationship with traditional partner Iran, access to important trade routes through Chabahar and the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), as well as its international reputation.
SOURCE: The Hindu