Let’s first take a look at what has happened till now:
In May, President Donald Trump withdrew US from the Iran nuclear deal and decided to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s oil sector. Ever since then, he has been pushing for maximum pressure campaign against Tehran’s atomic programme.
And now continuing on the same line, his administration has taken another step. They have asked all their allies to stop their oil imports from Iran by November 4. Failing to comply with this demand, these allies would face sanctions. The list of allies includes India, as well as China.
Now, the question comes should India comply with this demand?
Well, it’s not entirely possible given India is one of the biggest buyers of Iranian oil. Between April 2017 and January 2018, Iran supplied about 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil to India. Stopping this trade would mean that India must take big economic hits, which isn’t something that current government would want. So, don’t expect India to be complying to USA’s demand to stop oil imports from Iran—even partially.
Modi government would act strongly and likely give a befitting reply. Even with threats of Sanctions, I don’t think there would be much of a difference in the relationship between India and Iran. The USA-India partnership is already going downhill thanks to recently introduced tariffs and counter-tariffs. Bad days lie ahead for both these countries in terms of trade.
Let’s see how India replies to the demands of USA diplomatically. In my opinion, it should continue its oil imports with Iran and let the big brother sulk.