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Whatever is in national interest will be done: India on import of oil from Iran post US sanctions

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Amid concerns over the import of from following US sanctions, today said whatever is mandated to be done in its national interest will be done.

In response to a question on the comments made by and Charge d'Affaires at a seminar on Tuesday that would stand to lose "special privileges" if it cut import of Iranian following US sanctions, Ministry of said his remarks were "misquoted" and that the Iranian side had issued a clarification in this regard.

The released a statement yesterday that would do its best to ensure security of supply to New Delhi, asserting that it had been a reliable partner for

"For India, is an important partner for and connectivity. In the clarification by the Iranian embassy, they have explained a lot of things.... It got reported, it got misquoted and they thought there was a need to clarify. They have understood our position and of course, and we do share a very strong relationship," Kumar said.

He added that is in touch with Iran on several issues, including on the fallout of the US withdrawal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the nuclear deal signed between Iran on one side and the US, China, France, Germany, Russia, the on the other.

In response to another question on whether there was any development on the US reaching out to India over the issue of reduction of imports from Iran, Kumar said, "They had indicated. In fact, a statement was made by the that they would like to get in touch with or they are prepared to engage in discussions with various countries in the matter. They did not specify India.

"We do welcome such engagements. We have taken a note of it. We will see what necessary steps we need to take in this. One thing is very clear that whatever is mandated to be done in our national interest, those things we will be doing."

Iran is India's third-largest after and Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of between April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of fiscal 2017-18).

The US has told India and other countries to cut from Iran to "zero" by November 4 or face sanctions. The brought back after pulling out the US from the Iran nuclear deal.

Shipping to Iran and ports in the country are also coming under the US sanctions.

Kumar did not respond to a question on whether there was any reduction in the He said these are operational questions and should be addressed to the

Rahaghi had also said that it was unfortunate that Indian investment promises for expansion of and its connectivity projects had not been accomplished so far and that it was expected that India would take immediate necessary measures in this regard if its cooperation and engagement in the port was of strategic nature.

Kumar said India is committed to the development of of

"We are moving with speed and scale. The work is underway on all interim operations," the said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 20:05 IST