India To Lose ‘Special Privileges’ If It Cuts Oil Imports, Delays Chabahar Investments, Says Iranian DiplomatChabahar Port in Iran

Iran's Deputy Ambassador and Charge d'Affaires Massoud Rezvanian Rahaghi has criticised India over the issue of promised investments in Chabahar and threatened to withdraw special privileges if India were to comply with US demands and reduce Iranian oil imports, The Hindu has reported. The ambassador was speaking at an event organised by All India Minorities Front at Parliament Annexe.

Rahaghi also expressed concerns over Indian investments in Chabahar. He was quoted as saying, "It’s unfortunate that Indian investment promises for expansion of Chabahar port and its connectivity projects have not been accomplished so far, and it is expected that India take immediately necessary measures in this regard if its cooperation and engagement in Chabahar port is really of strategic nature."

The diplomat made an important statement on the issue of oil imports in the wake of pressure from US administration on India to curb imports from Iran. He said that special privileges to India which enabled it to pay for imports in rupees would be withdrawn if it submits to US demands. He added that this move would impact India's current account deficits (CAD).

Rahaghi reportedly said “In previous round of U.S. sanctions between 2012 to 2015, Iran did its best to ensure security of oil supply to India. However, if India were to replace Iran with countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, U.S. and others for the 10 per cent of its oil demand then it may have to revert to dollar-denominated imports which mean higher CAD and deprivation of all other privileges Iran has offered to India."

While adding that the scrapping of Iran nuclear deal and sanctions would lead to higher cost of oil for India and China, Rahaghi claimed that Iran was fighting terrorism in the region. India, on the other has stated that it would take a call on Iranian oil imports after taking opinion of all stakeholders. Iran, the third largest supplier of crude oil to India supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018, New Indian Express has reported.

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