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Iran not disappointed with India for not importing oil from Tehran: Jaishankar

The US re-imposed sanctions on Iran last November, after Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 03, 2019, 08.21 AM IST
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Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that India has a strong political and cultural relationship with Iran and dismissed reports that Tehran is disappointed at New Delhi for not buying oil from the Persian gulf country due to US sanctions.

“I don’t agree with you that Iranians are disappointed. I think Iranians are realists. There is a larger global situation in which they are operating, we are operating. In the world that I inhabit, we frankly understand each other’s compulsions and possibilities,” Jaishankar said at an event organised by US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) in Washington on Tuesday.

The minister was responding to a question that Iranians were disappointed with India’s decision not to buy oil from them to avoid American sanctions regime.

“From our perspective, the real issue is how do I continue to get affordable, predictable access to oil and gas? So far that has been made possible,” he said, adding that India is concerned about the state of instability and volatility in the Gulf.

Jaishankar said everybody knew that Iran issue was an evolving matter.

“You can read the front page of probably many newspapers today, which had some developments pertaining to that. I wouldn’t attribute that sense of finality,” he said, adding that countries should not have unreasonable expectations.

India has two sets of concerns when it comes to Iran directly, he said.

“Our concern is we are a big energy importing economy. And for us affordable, predictable access to energy is very important. We have been repeatedly assured that that would happen. So for us that would be the sort of the benchmark with which we would approach the region that we need solutions which will work for us,” he said, adding, “We have a strong political relationship. We have a cultural relationship. We work with them. We actually operate a port in that country, which services Afghanistan. So those are equities obviously, which we would protect.”

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