- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2013

Iran has just lost one of its biggest buyers, as India announced on Friday that it’s not taking crude imports from Iran any longer.

India halted the shipments because insurance companies aren’t covering the refineries that process the oil because of sanctions from the West, Reuters reports. That’s a major hit to Iran; India spends about $1 billion each month on oil from Iran and is the nation’s second-largest buyer, Reuters reports.

“If cover is not available, then all Indian refiners will have to halt imports from Iran or else they will have to take a huge risk,” said P.P. Upadhya, managing director of India’s biggest crude buyer, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd., to Reuters. “Insurance companies said if I buy Iranian crude, my refinery’s insurance cover will be canceled.

Iran’s third-largest Indian crude buyer, Hindustran Petroleum Corp, said similarly.

Iran imports will be stopped soon,” one HPCL source told Reuters. “As far as insurance is concerned, we are all sailing in the same boat.”

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