TEHRAN, YJC. -- A senior Indian official says trade ties between Iran and India are “on the rise,” stressing that New Delhi will not halt oil imports from the Islamic Republic.
"Any kind of permanent halting of oil shipments from Iran is not feasible at this point of time,” the Indian daily The Hindu quoted a senior Commerce Ministry official as saying.
The official noted that any decision to stop Iranian crude will "jeopardize” the rising bilateral trade relations.
"The Iranians have shown interest in import of various
business commodities including agricultural products and any adverse
decision on the crude oil front will jeopardize that great opportunity,”
the official said.
The comments came only days after India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas
Minister M. Veerappa Moily rejected the recent Western reports that that
his country might halt imports of Iranian crude over the US-led
sanctions against Tehran's energy sector.
An Indian oil official also recently announced that details of an
insurance fund for Iranian oil shipments would be outlined in the near
future, adding that India's national insurance companies, the Oil India
Development Board as well as other major players in the nation’s oil
industry will contribute to the insurance fund.
India is among Asia’s major importers of energy, and relies on the
Islamic Republic to satisfy a portion of its energy requirements.
The United States, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have
repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its
nuclear energy program.
Iran has categorically rejected the allegation, arguing that as a
committed signatory to the the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons (NPT) it is entitled to acquire and develop nuclear
technology for peaceful purposes.