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India to continue purchasing Iranian crude oil

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The Indian government has announced that it is working to continue crude oil purchase from Iran, resisting renewed pressure from the United States to halt buying Iranian oil.

The announcement was made by Indian Foreign Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna on Thursday in a written letter to the upper house of Indian parliament, Wall Street Journal reported.

“The government is studying the impact on India of the problems that have arisen due to imposition of sanctions against Iran,” he said, adding that the US and the European Union sanctions will not affect trade with Iran.

India accounts for more than 10 percent of Iran’s annual oil exports, worth about $12 billion.

On March 20, US exempted 11 nations, including 10 European Union members and Japan, from tough new sanctions on Iran, saying they had reduced oil purchase from the major oil producer. However, Washington warned that 12 countries — including India and China — are prone to financial penalties due to their continued Iranian oil imports.

The most important countries which have not been included on the exemption list are China, India and South Korea.

The US and EU have imposed tough financial and oil sanctions against Iran since the beginning of 2012 in an effort to pressure Iran into halting its nuclear energy program, which the Western powers claim has had deviations towards producing a nuclear weapon.

Tehran has refuted the allegations, noting that frequent inspections by International Atomic Energy Agency have failed to prove any diversion in Iran’s nuclear energy program from its solely civilian nature.


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