India, Top Iranian Oil Importer, Says Will Not Heed US Sanctions

(From RadioFreeEurope)

India will keep trading with Iran and Venezuela despite the threat of penalties for violating U.S. sanctions recently announced against the two countries, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has said.

India is currently a top destination for Iran’s oil exports. Asked about the U.S. move to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions at a news conference on May 28, Swaraj said that India’s policy was to honor only UN sanctions, not sanctions imposed by individual countries.

India continued to trade with Iran during previous rounds of U.S. sanctions, but after UN sanctions were imposed in 2006, it had to cut Iranian oil imports because they choked off its banking channels and insurance coverage for oil tankers.

Major European companies, including Total and Allianz, already have announced they will withdraw from Iran unless the United States grants them waivers from the sanctions.

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