Source: Fars News Agency
Media reports said on Thursday that Iran's crude exports to India have increased to 550,000 barrels a day in January which shows a 37.5% growth compared with the same period last year.
India has increased oil imports from Iran to become the Islamic Republic's largest customer last month, ignoring recent sanctions imposed by US and EU on importing Iran's oil.
The development, the Wall Street Journal report said, has partly offset a 50 percent cut in crude exports to China as a result of pricing dispute. China now imports around 250,000 barrels a day from Iran.
The news comes despite the West's rising pressure on Iran to halt its peaceful nuclear program.
On the New Year's Eve, the United States imposed new sanctions against Iran aimed at preventing other countries from importing Iran's oil and doing transactions with its central bank.
After months of debates, the EU member states also eventually reached an agreement in their meeting on January 23 to sanction oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of Iran's Central Bank within the EU.
Following the decision, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton claimed that the sanctions are aimed at pressuring Iran to return to talks over its nuclear program.
Despite Ashton's claims, Iran has always underlined its preparedness to resume talks with the West but has meantime stressed that it will never accept any precondition for such talks.
After the EU oil ban against Iran, members of the Iranian parliament finalized a draft bill on cutting the country's oil exports to the European states in retaliation for the EU move.
"The bill has 4 articles, including one which states that the Islamic Republic of Iran will cut all oil exports to the European states until they end their oil sanctions against the country," Vice-Chairman of the parliament's Energy Commission Nasser Soudani told FNA last month.
Elaborating on the other parts of the draft bill, he said another article requires the government to stop imports of goods from those countries which are a party to these sanctions against Iran.
In relevant remarks last week, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi also underlined Tehran's determination to retaliate against the western states' oil ban against the country, and said Iran will certainly cut its oil exports to certain European countries.
"Export of oil to certain European countries will certainly be cut," Qassemi said in a press conference.
"We will decide on stopping oil exports to other European countries later," he added.
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