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    India Got No Official Note From US on Iran Sanctions Waiver – Foreign Ministry

    © AFP 2018 / ARUN SANKAR
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    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - Washington has not officially notified New Delhi of plans to give India a waiver from the coming US oil sanctions against Iran until March 2019, India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Thursday.

    "We have not heard anything officially from the US side. But you are aware that we have had several rounds of conversations not only with the US, but also with Iran and other stakeholders on this matter. As far as the United States is concerned, they are very well aware of our expectations, of the requirement that we have for oil domestically, which is very critical for sustaining our economic growth," Kumar said at a briefing when asked to comment on the reports.

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    Earlier in the day, the Economic Times newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the issue, that Washington decided to grant New Delhi a waiver from the upcoming US oil sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a significant reduction of Iranian oil imports in India.

    According to sources, India would be able to import around 1.25 million tonnes of oil per month until March 2019, which is consistent with the country's oil purchases in October and November and will mark a significant reduction compared to India’s initial plans.

    On November 4, the second package of US sanction against Tehran, which will target the country's oil exports, among other things, is set to come into effect as a consequence of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May.

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    In early October, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would consider waivers for the importers of Iranian oil, including India, to give them time to adjust to the new conditions, but expected all countries to eventually reduce their oil imports from Iran to zero.

    India has been very reluctant to cut oil imports from Iran because Tehran is New Delhi's second-largest oil supplier behind Iraq. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, India imported 9.8 million tonnes of oil from Iran, while in 2016-2017, Iranian oil imports were as high as 13 million tonnes.

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    sanctions, Raveesh Kumar, India, Iran, United States
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