June 21, 2016
The fault lies outside: “Perhaps Iranian President Hassan Rouhani realised that there was no bad faith on India’s part with regard to the efforts it had made to address the issue of delay in payments.” PM Modi with Mr. Rouhani in Tehran.
A close look at the Indian delay in oil payments to Iran will show that it was attributable solely to U.S. sanctions, a point the Iranian leadership appears to have noted
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran a month ago was significant on all counts. As he himself said: “…[the] visit was fruitful” and it is sure to have had a positive impact. The discussions signalled an eagerness by India and Iran to promote bilateral ties. Twelve agreements were signed, the most strategic of them being the one for the development of Iran’s Chabahar Port.
Before the visit, several policy analysts flagged important issues in areas such as energy and trade, with the most troublesome of them being India’s delay in remitting oil dues estimated at $6.5 billion for crude supplies made in recent years. Hurried arrangements were made to remit a sum of $750 million days prior to Mr. Modi’s visit.
Most surprisingly, it appears that the issue did not come up for discussion at all. From the press briefing by Mr. Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, it was clear that both had convergence on the extraordinary situation created by the U.S. until the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the international agreement on the nuclear programme of Iran reached in Vienna in 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States plus Germany), and the European Union — leading to the lifting of sanctions against Iran.
Blame it on U.S. sanctions
A close look at the delay in payments by India will show that it was attributable solely to U.S. sanctions. Perhaps, Mr. Rouhani realised that there was no bad faith on India’s part with regard to the efforts it had made from time to time to address the issue.