Is India cutting Iranian oil imports? A Reuters reports says yes – by as much as half in September and October. A report by Nikkei Asian Review, meanwhile, says no – that India plans to increase imports of Iranian oil after failing to reach an understanding with the United States at a ministerial meeting. Preliminary data suggests that India cut oil imports from Iran by 32 percent in August (month-on-month). If the Nikkei report is true, it would be quite the reversal. India’s Oil Ministry reportedly told Indian refiners in June that they should expect a “drastic reduction” of Indian imports of Iranian oil, and the U.S. secretary of state said last week that Washington would consider waivers only if India committed itself to eventually reducing oil imports. But India doesn’t really want to do that. It has a weak currency, and fuel prices are already high. Iran can’t afford to lose its second-largest export destination.
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