There’s lots of talk about global non-cooperation with the Trump embargo, but, where the proverbial rubber meets the road, American sanctions will have effect.
Indeed, finding replacement for Iranian oil isn’t a problem. Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait can fill the gap. There will be some incremental increase in costs as they may not give the kind of economic sweeteners on freight and insurance that Iran offers. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier.
For India, the real challenge is balancing its age-old relations with Tehran and the financial/strategic stake in the Chabahar port project with the imperative of avoiding US clampdown.
Unlike sanctions under Barack Obama’s presidency, when India had secured a waiver, Trump’s Washington is totally unforgiving. This time even China – the single-largest buyer of Iranian crude – too may not keep India company as it is trumped by $150-200 billion tariffs war.