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India Vying for US Waiver

India Vying for US WaiverIndia Vying for US Waiver

India, the second biggest crude customer of Iran, may cut its imports from the Islamic Republic by half to secure a waiver from the US to continue with shipments, people familiar with the matter said. Officials from the US had discussed the issue of a conditional waiver on sanctions in talks last month in New Delhi, the people said, requesting not to be identified as the discussion was private, Reuters reported.

India has expressed its inability to scrap oil imports from Iran completely, as its supplies are being offered at competitive rates, the people said. New Delhi expects a response as early as next month when talks resume.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has been forced to reconsider its plan to choke off all of Iran’s oil exports after countries, including China and India—which together constitute about half of Iran’s oil exports—expressed their inability to halt shipments. Washington is now said to project a 50% cut in exports when it reimposes energy sanctions in early November.

After initial success in persuading allies Japan and South Korea, US is finding it tough to convince even European Union nations. These pushbacks are forcing the US to consider waivers to countries on a case-by-case basis, as it feels even a significant reduction would be a blow to Iran’s battered economy.

India continued with Iranian imports even after Trump announced in May that he was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal. Indian Oil Corp., the biggest refiner and a top customer of Iran, has been purchasing oil proportionate to its annual term contracts so far and has booked cargoes for September, its chairman, Sanjiv Singh, said on Monday.

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