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Iran fights for oil sales renewal, says ‘India can withstand pressure from the West’


More than three years after the suspension of oil imports from Iran, the country’s ambassador to India called for a resumption of trade on Friday. Iraj Elahi hailed New Delhi as an “emerging power” strong enough to withstand Western pressure. He also pitched for faster implementation of the Chabahar port project.

“Iran is an oil producer and oil is important in our economy. Despite the sanctions (for more than 10 years), we have found some ways to sell our oil and oil products such as petrochemicals and other products,” he told ANI news agency.

As he put it, India was not Taiwan or South Korea. “India is an emerging power. India has a strong economy. So India could easily withstand the pressure of the West,” the diplomat said.

Elahi also cited India’s position on Russian oil amid its ongoing war with Ukraine – a move that has greatly irked Kiev’s western allies. “We hope that in the interest of Indian companies, economy and people, the Indian government will start importing oil,” he added.

Read also: Deepen ties between Russia and Iran; Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet deal sealed

The envoy also said the recent China-brokered deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to revive diplomatic relations should not be a concern for India.

“It would benefit India, because it would help and intensify stability and peace in the Persian Gulf region… So it would benefit India, despite what has been done with China’s mediation,” he said.

While the announcement of the deal had surprised diplomatic circles in New Delhi, India has welcomed the move.

Read also: Iran and Saudi Arabia agree to resume diplomatic relations, with the help of China

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.