The US “will take care” of countries which defy its directive to bring their oil imports from Iran to zero by November 4, President Donald Trump has warned, days after India announced that two of its firms have placed orders to import crude from the Gulf nation.
Trump in May pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear accord, saying it had “failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb” and did not deal with Tehran’s “malign activities, including its ballistic missile programme and its support for terrorism”.
In an attempt to compel Iran to agree to a new accord, Trump reinstated sanctions that targeted the Iranian government’s purchase of US dollars, Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, and its automotive sector.
On November 4, a second batch of potentially more damaging sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran’s oil and shipping sectors as well as its central bank. The US has asked buyers of Iranian oil to cut imports to zero starting in November.
“We will take care of them,” Trump told reporters when asked about the decision of some countries like India and China to continue to purchase oil from Iran.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that two state refiners have placed orders for importing crude oil from Iran in November.
He had said that India has its own energy requirements which it has to fulfill.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) together have placed order for 1.25 million tonne (MT) of crude oil from Iran.
Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Of the 220.4 million metric tonnes (million MT) of crude oil imported by India in 2017-18, about 9.4 per cent, was from Iran.
China is Iran’s biggest oil customer and is opposed to any unilateral sanctions on the country.