India’s state bank pulls out of Iran

Indian imports of Iranian oil may be heavily affected after August, according to the finance chief of Indian Oil Corp (IOC) on Friday, as the State Bank of India (SBI) has informed refiners that it will not handle payments for the crude from November.

The IOC’s A. K. Sharma said: “(Oil) loading will be affected from end-August under the current mechanism unless a new payment route is established.”

This move by India’s biggest bank, comes after Donald Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May and pledged to renew tough sanctions on the Regime within 180 days.

Some sanctions, like those on the auto industry, will take effect on August 6 (90 days after the withdrawal), while those targeting the petroleum sector will come into force on November 4.

The reason that Indian refiners will face penalties on August shipments is that payment on them will be due in November.

Although India had reduced imports from in Iran in 2017/18, following a dispute over a gas field, Iran remained its third-biggest oil supplier, supplying about 10% (458,000 barrels per day) of India’s oil needs.

SBI has already told Indian refiners that it will not be able to handle oil payments to Iran from November 4, as it will impact on their US operations.

Indian refiners also use Germany-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG (EIH) to handle their payments and there is no word yet on whether the EIH will withdraw.

Is India turning against Iran?

India, which is Iran’s second-biggest oil purchaser, was one of few nations that continued to trade with Tehran during previous sanctions. The country says that they do not follow US sanctions, but Indian companies with ties to the US could face financial penalties if they continue to trade with Iran.

Some oil firms in India are seeking out alternative payment methods, through banks that do not operate in the US, but some have speculated that Indian firms will push for bigger discounts from Iran to guarantee their continued trade.

It would be better if these firms pulled out of Iran altogether, not just for the companies but for the world as a whole. It would mean less money going to the Iranian Regime’s suppressive forces and less ability for the Regime to threaten the world with its proxy militias and nuclear weapons.

Many companies from across the world have already pulled out or announced plans to do so by the deadline, including sporting brand Nike, energy conglomerate Total, and carmaker PSA. There are also very few shipping companies that are now willing to transport Iranian oil, most citing that insurers will not cover the shipment.

Indian oil companies should pull out of Iran and purchase oil from other suppliers in the Middle East. Some have already made plans to end or reduce their imports from Iran, including Reliance Industries Ltd and Nayara Energy.

But abiding by US sanctions and pushing the Iranian economy to the breaking point, firms that pull out of Iran will be helping to usher in regime change, which is the will of the Iranian people.

Regime change will be the major topic of discussion at the Free Iran gathering in Paris later this month.

Source » ncr-iran

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