With the US temporarily lifting sanctions, India has to recalibrate its dealings with Iran

The US has given a temporary exemption to India, and seven other countries, from Iran sanctions and kicked the can down the road. The relief helps New Delhi avoid a major embarrassment and a higher oil bill in the short term — until next May, before the Lok Sabha elections.

Iran is India’s third largest supplier of oil after Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Its oil is also cost-effective. Whether similar terms can be obtained from other oil producers will be a test of Indian diplomacy and negotiating skills.

The situation is by no means ideal, because once again India will be adversely affected because of US policies aimed at another country. It will have to weigh its options beyond stating principled positions that it abides only by UN sanctions.

US President Donald Trump’s obsession with Iran — inherited from Israel and key campaign donors — is not about to fade. Read More

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