India will not follow US embargoes on Iranian oil. This is in contrast to European countries who most likely will suspend Iran oil imports. EU is more vulnerable to US pressures due to its economic crisis. Financial bail out packages could be linked to an anti Iran stance.
But India has a different equation with Iran. Relationships between India and Iran go back to India’s cultural ties with the Islamic world dating back by 1000 years. The face of cultural India is undeniably Islamic, as in Taj Mahal, Red Fort and other Mughal monuments. Persian was the court language of Mughal India for almost 500 years. Besides cultural and population ties, India has economic and strategic relationships with Iran.
India needs access to Central Asian countries through Iran as Pakistan will not allow that trade passage. Around 12% of India’s oil needs are met from Iran. There is apparently no direct benefit for India to limit oil imports from Teheran except to please Iran’s adversary.
Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai says: “We have accepted sanctions which are made by the United Nations. Other sanctions do not apply to individual countries. We don’t accept that position.” Indeed, he went further, noting that an Indian delegation would travel to Iran to “work out a mechanism for uninterrupted purchase of oil from Iran.” And India and Iran have reportedly agreed to settle some of their oil trade in rupees to avoid restrictions on dollar-denominated trade. India-Iran relations will throw the US administration at odds with its favored regional superpower for the sub-con.