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
0

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.


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.