The United States has no evidence that India is “running afoul” of American sanctions on Iran through the Chabahar port, a top US diplomat said on Tuesday.
India said it stopped importing oil from Iran after American waivers granted to eight buyers expired in May. India at that time had hoped that the US sanctions would not affect its partnership in developing Iran’s Chabahar port.
“We have no evidence that India is running afoul of US sanctions,” Special US Representative to Iran, Brian Hook, told reporters at the Foreign Press Centre.
Mr Hook was responding to a reporter’s questions alleging that India is violating the US sanctions through the Chabahar port which it is building in Iran for the purpose of trade with Iran and Afghanistan.
“I’m not familiar with the evidence that you are citing,” Mr Hook said, adding that India was not violating the US sanctions.
US President Donald Trump last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and revived a range of sanctions against Iran.
It, however, granted a six-month waiver from sanctions to eight countries - China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece, but with a condition that they would reduce their purchases of Iranian oil.
The Trump administration in April decided not to renew waiver that let countries like India buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions.
India, which is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian oil after China, had agreed to restrict its monthly purchase to 1.25 million tonne or 15 million tonne in a year (300,000 barrels per day), down from 22.6 million tonne (452,000 barrels per day) bought in 2017-18 financial year.