06:28 GMT03 March 2021
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    India’s Ministry of Petroleum has claimed that crude imports from sanctions-hit Iran witnessed a massive jump this June in comparison to last year; disproving reports published by global research agencies that India had heavily cut down crude purchases from Iran due to American sanctions.

    Indian refineries imported 48% more Iranian crude in June this year as compared to imports from June 2017, according to government estimates.  

    "Indian refineries imported 1.9 million metric tons (MMT) of crude oil from Iran in June 2017 and placed an order for 2.82 MMT in June 2018," Dharmendra Pradhan, India's oil minister said in parliament on Monday.

    READ MORE: Iran Becomes Second Largest Oil Supplier to India, Replaces Saudi Arabia

    However, the minister did not provide the amount of oil shipped from Iran during the current month. Presenting monthly details, Minister Pradhan informed parliament that Iranian crude imports had witnessed an 11.8% increase in March, 16.5% in April and 16% in May in comparison to the corresponding months of last year.

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani visited New Delhi in February this year and during his trip India had promised to increase crude oil imports from Iran from 205,000 barrels per day in 2017-18 to 396,000 barrels per day in 2018-19.

    Earlier, citing data from industry and shipping sources, Reuters had reported that India's monthly oil imports from Iran had declined 16 percent in June this year as compared to May.

    Meanwhile, the Indian Oil Ministry has revealed that India and China have discussed the possibility of forming an "oil buyers' club" that can negotiate better terms with sellers.

    "Meetings have been held between India and China, both at ministerial and company levels. During these meetings both sides expressed interest to cooperate and collaborate to deal with high crude oil and gas prices, including through increased communication between companies to work towards control and reduce spikes in prices," Minister Pradhan stated in parliament. 

    READ MORE: India, Iran Agree to Continue Momentum in Bilateral Trade Including Crude Import

    Despite several requests and threats from the Trump administration to cut trade ties with Iran, the Indian government has insisted that its trade decision would be guided by the country's interest and won't be compromised for any third country.  

    In May the Trump administration announced that it was walking out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran popularly known as the nuclear deal and released a detailed plan of the re-imposition of sanctions on entities engaged with Iran, including the imports of crude oil from Tehran.


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    anti-Iranian sanctiolns, US pressure, crude, imports, Trump administration, Dharmendra Pradhan, Hassan Rouhani, India, Iran, China
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