Iran says will strive to ensure oil supplies to India

In this file photo, A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf, Iran. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 July 2018
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Iran says will strive to ensure oil supplies to India

  • Iran also wants India to expedite its investment and accelerate engagement for the development of Chabahar port in Iran
  • India, Iran's top oil client after China, asked refiners last month to prepare for drastic reductions

NEW DELHI: Iran will do its best to ensure security of oil supply to India by offering "flexible measures" to boost bilateral trade, a statement from Tehran's embassy in New Delhi said.

Iran is the third-biggest oil supplier to India and has offered refiners incentives including almost-free shipping and an enhanced credit period on oil sales.

Imports from Iran could take a hit as the United States reintroduces sanctions on Tehran after withdrawing from a nuclear deal with world powers.

India, Iran's top oil client after China, asked refiners last month to prepare for drastic reductions or even zero Iranian oil imports.

"Iran understands the difficulties of India in dealing with (an) unstable energy market and it has done and will do its best to ensure security of oil supply to India," the statement said.

India's oil imports from Iran fell about 16 percent in June compared to May, tanker arrival data showed.

"Iran has always been a reliable energy partner for India and others, seeking a balanced oil market and regional prices of oil which ensure the interest of both countries as consumer and supplier," the statement said.

India was one of the few countries that continued to deal with Iran during previous sanctions although it had to cut imports from Tehran as banking, insurance and shipping channels were choked.

"We do share a very strong, very good relationship, we are in touch with them (Iran) on several issues including on the fallout of the US withdrawal from (the nuclear deal)," said Raveesh Kumar, India's Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Officials from the US Treasury Department are expected to meet Indian officials next week regarding sanctions on Iran.

Kumar said India is closely watching the situation and will do "whatever is mandated to be done in our national interest."

Iran also wants India to expedite its investment and accelerate engagement for the development of Chabahar port in Iran, the statement said.

The Indian-backed Chabahar port complex is being developed as part of a new transportation corridor for landlocked Afghanistan that could open the way for millions of dollars in trade and cut dependence on neighboring Pakistan.

"We are committed to the development of the Shahid-Besheshti terminal of Chabahar port. We are moving with speed and scale and the work is underway on all interim operations," Kumar said.

India is trying to make Chabahar port operational by 2019, India's transport minister said last month.


Wife of former Malaysian PM Najib to be questioned by anti-corruption agency

Updated 25 September 2018
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Wife of former Malaysian PM Najib to be questioned by anti-corruption agency

  • Rosmah was first questioned in June in connection with the investigation
  • A source familiar with the investigation said Rosmah would be questioned in connection with the 1MDB probe

KUALA LUMPUR: Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, was summoned on Tuesday for questioning by the anti-graft agency in its multi-billion dollar corruption probe at state fund 1MDB.
It was the second time Rosmah, 66, has been called in by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) since the shock defeat of Najib in the May general election.
Rosmah was first questioned in June in connection with the investigation, which is looking into allegations of corruption and misappropriation in state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Her husband has pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust.
The former first lady was served with a notice on Tuesday afternoon to appear before MACC the next day, her lawyer K.Kumaraendran said, adding that she was asked to assist with investigations under the anti-money laundering act.
A source familiar with the investigation said Rosmah would be questioned in connection with the 1MDB probe.
After filing fresh charges against Najib last week, Azam Baki, the deputy commissioner of the anti-graft agency, said more charges could be brought against individuals over 1MDB.
When asked if Rosmah could face charges, he said: “I’m not denying that.”
Rosmah’s penchant for designer handbags, watches and jewelry raised eyebrows in Malaysia, with opponents asking how she was able to afford the luxury items on her husband’s government salary.
She has drawn comparisons to Imelda Marcos, who left behind more than 1,200 pairs of shoes when her husband Ferdinand Marcos was ousted as president of the Philippines in 1986.
Najib and Rosmah have both been barred from leaving the country since the former’s election defeat, and their home and other properties linked to them have been searched by the police as part of the 1MDB investigations.
The haul seized from the properties included 567 handbags, 423 watches and 12,000 pieces of jewelry.
Najib has said most of the seized items were gifts given to his wife and daughter and had nothing to do with 1MDB.
The US Department of Justice has alleged more than $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB and that about $680 million ended up in Najib’s personal bank account. Najib has denied any wrongdoing.