Commerce secretary Rita Teaotia has said that India is not expecting any major shift in trade with Iran following the US decision to reimpose trade sanctions against it.
“I would not expect any major shift happening,” Teaotia said at an event organised by the Centre for Regional Trade.
Explaining that the sanctions on Iran were in place for many years and only a partially lifted by the Obama-administration, Teaotia said this did not result in a surge in exports from India to Iran.
The Secretary said that India’s trade with Iran has remained at even levels.
Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The US has announced to withdraw from the 2015 agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme and reinstate financial sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation. The bilateral trade between India and Iran has increased to $12.9 billion in 2016-17 from $9 billion in the previous fiscal.
“Our trade with Iran is fairly even…There is not going to be a sudden shut down,” she added.
Experts said that the US might stop Iranian banks’ access to the global transaction network SWIFT thereby curbing all transactions in foreign currencies. “We may have to revert to the rupee payment mechanism in that case,” said Ajay Sahai, Director General, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.
Sahai added that since India has dealt with the situation earlier, it is in a better position to continue trade with Iran post the sanctions.