Iran has threatened to halt oil supplies to India in August if New Delhi doesn’t resolve the payments row between the two countries.
Is it a threat to be concerned about ? No and yes. India buys roughly 12-13% of its oil from Iran. There are other sources to which it can switch in case Teheran refuses to play ball – Iran’s bete noire Saudi Arabia being one. And Iran too needs us: there are not many countries that want to openly do business with it. Oil alone is not a factor in the equation.
But India should pay attention to what the Persians are trying to say. Iran has been an all-weather friend to India, one that does not make one set of promises in private and denies their existence in public. For the sake of preserving these ties, the payments problem should be resolved quickly. India and Iran have shared geopolitical interests that require cooperation and not conflict.