Indian refiners would buy Iranian oil if sanctions eased: HPCL chief

Indian refiners would resume imports of Iranian oil if the United States eases sanctions against Tehran, the chairman of state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp said on Thursday.

US President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear dispute with Iran, which could see sanctions eased.

India, which was Iran’s top oil client after China, had stopped oil imports from the OPEC nation in mid-2019 under pressure from the stringent sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump.

“Iranian crude had been in the (import) basket of Indian refineries … we will be happy to take that crude as and when the situation warrants and the crude is available,” MK Surana told a news conference.

Washington has been at loggerheads with Tehran for decades and relations between the two countries worsened under Trump, who withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, and imposed more sanctions on Tehran.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for the first time hinted that Washington and Tehran should take synchronized steps to return to the Iran nuclear deal abandoned by Trump.

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