Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday gave credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the US administration allowed India and other seven countries to keep importing oil from Iran. On Friday, the Donald Trump administration allowed eight nations to keep importing oil from Iran, despite its reimposition of crippling sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation from November 5.
"Hon'ble Prime Minister's forceful campaign has been that you can't ignore interests of consuming countries. Understanding geo-political situation, India has been able to get its way. The US has given waiver to some countries including India," Pradhan told reporters on the sidelines of an agreement signing event between CSC e-Governance Services and oil marketing companies - BPCL, India Oil and HPCL.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would temporarily allow the eight countries to continue buying Iranian oil even after enforcing its sanctions on Tehran.
"I give credit of this to emerging acceptance of world leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From this campaign not only India but other consuming nations will be benefitted. The nitty-gritty of this will come gradually," he said.
The US had previously wanted countries, including India, to completely stop oil purchases from Iran by November 4 when its full sanctions against Tehran come into force.
India, which is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian oil after China, was willing to restrict its monthly purchase to 1.25 million tonnes or 15 million tonnes in a year (300,000 barrels per day), down from 22.6 million tonnes (452,000 barrels per day) bought in 2017-18 financial year, sources in New Delhi said.
In May, Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 landmark nuclear the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) terming it as disastrous".
Under the Obama-era deal, involving five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, Iran agreed to stop its nuclear programme in exchange of relief from economic sanctions.
After the US' withdrawal from the deal, Trump signed fresh sanctions against Iran and warned countries against any cooperation with Tehran on its controversial nuclear weapons programme.
Speaking with the reporters at the White House on Friday before leaving on a campaign trail, Trump said Iran was not the same country which it was when he started almost two years ago.
"Iran is a much different country since I terminated that deal. That was one of the most ridiculous deals ever made by any country, at any time: the Iran nuclear deal," he said.
"They're very serious sanctions. They're very big. They'll be elevated from there. But, as you know, sanctions are starting on Iran and, Iran is taking a very big hit," he added.
(With PTI inputs)