USA dumping Iran deal will push oil up, hit India: Assocham

Richard Drew — The Associated Press

The threat of new sanctions comes amid an oil market that has been tightening due to strong demand and as top exporter Saudi Arabia and top producer Russian Federation have led efforts since 2017 to withhold oil supplies to prop up prices.

Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump have discussed the impact of America pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, Downing Street said.

According to the Iranian leader, among other things this applied to related issues, such as "sales of oil, gas and oil products, as well as banking relations".

France has slammed an "unacceptable" the U.S. move to re-impose sanctions on companies trading with Iran following President Donald Trump's decision to dump the landmark 2015 deal that sought to curb Tehran's nuclear programme.

The pact, lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program.

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The French government is seeking waivers and longer transition periods from the United States for companies such as Renault and Total, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said, while pressing for European Union measures to improve the bloc's "economic sovereignty" in the longer term. This is undoubtedly bad news for India, and it's policymakers as they have to prepare for another boot of increase in crude oil price. Its state refiners had chalked out plans to nearly double oil imports from Iran this fiscal year, drawn to the virtual free shipping on oil sales offered by Iran, Reuters reported last month.

France, Britain and Germany had all said they will work with Iran to try to salvage the agreement. "Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States".

Tourism in Iran had also benefited from the nuclear deal, with visitor numbers increasing from 3.8 million visitors in 2012 to over 5 million in 2015, and this could also be affected by renewed sanctions.

Indo-Iran ties have been on a upswing after Tehran sealed the nuclear deal with the global community in 2015. The Iranian government said it will take "whatever reciprocal measures it deems expedient" if it is not fully compensated for the USA withdrawal as provided for in the accord.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton is reported as saying that European companies doing business in Iran will have to stop doing so within six months or face US sanctions. "They are very strong sanctions", Mnuchin said.

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