BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Both the European Union and the United States have been lobbying other countries to their reduce oil transactions with Iran, in order to strengthen sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
But, at the 12th India-EU Summit held in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed that diplomacy is the answer.
India has solid reasons to look for a peaceful resolution to the Iran nuclear stand-off. India became the largest buyer of crude oil from Iran after the Islamic Republic’s crude oil exports to India increased by 37.5% back in January. Iran, as India’s second largest supplier, exports 550 thousand barrels of crude oil to India everyday, meeting 12% of the country’s oil demand.
The US and EU’s recent economic sanctions mean more leverage for India against Iran, which could mean business opportunities for the emerging market.
India and Iran have agreed on using the rupee as a settlement currency for 45% of India’s crude oil imports from Iran. By the end of February, India is also set to send a large scale trade mission to Iran to explore more benefits brought by EU and US sanctions.