External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the weekend and asked for a waiver for continued import of Iranian crude after the May 2 deadline imposed by the U.S. administration, a source has confirmed.
“Both sides discussed issues relevant to bilateral ties including the waiver for energy from Iran,” said a source about a telephone discussion between Ms. Swaraj and Mr. Pompeo on Saturday.
The phone call came days before the U.S. sanctions on import of Iranian crude comes into effect on May 2 when all energy imports from Iran must be stopped by the importing nations. It is learnt that Ms. Swaraj urged the U.S. Secretary of State to consider India’s current situation, highlighting that the vast amount of Iranian energy cannot be replaced overnight.
However, there was no indication from the U.S. official for issuing a new waiver for India. Earlier, India and Turkey had held discussion about how to avoid a breakdown in the domestic energy markets due to the sanctions.
Addressing a gathering at the Observer Research Foundation on April 26, Ibrahim Kalin, Senior Advisor to the Turkish President, had said that both India and Turkey have urged for waivers. “We are looking at possibilities. In principle we believe sanctions do not work. They hurt everybody. We are talking to all colleagues and the Europeans and we are on the same page on this issue,” said Mr. Kalin.
The May 2 deadline is expected to deliver an oil shock to the leading economies of the world as U.S. President Donald Trump continues to insist that leading importers like India should zero out energy supply from Iran.