MARCH 8 2012 14:25h
India: Replacing Iranian crude not easy
An Indian delegation is expected to visit Tehran this weekend to discuss bilateral trade initiatives. The visit comes as Western allies tighten economy pressure on Tehran in response to concerns about Iran's nuclear program.
Virander Paul, a spokesman for the Indian Embassy in Washington, said New Delhi has "consistently" said that Tehran needs to cooperate with the international community and resolve outstanding issues.
"India believes that while Iran has rights to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, it must simultaneously and rigorously fulfill the treaty obligations which it has acceded to," he said in a statement.
India imports about 370,000 barrels of oil per day from Iran, about 12 percent of the country's overall crude oil imports. New Delhi has faced difficulties in finding ways to pay for Iranian crude oil because of sanctions pressure.
"Nonetheless, given the imperative of meeting the energy needs of millions of Indians, an automatic replacement of all Iranian oil imports, is not a simple matter of selection, or a realistic option," Paul said.
WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- Finding an immediate replacement to Iranian crude oil isn't a "realistic option" for the Indian government, an embassy spokesman said.