India, a country the Trump administration has called “a key security and economic partner,” will soon test U.S. resolve on Iran. Two Indian firms are reportedly seeking to purchase Iranian oil in November. Should the imports go through, they would contravene the stated U.S. aim of bringing Iran’s petroleum exports “as close to zero as possible” by Nov. 4.
Between the lines: Despite its goal of increasing pressure on Iran, the U.S. is considering “significant reduction exemptions” for countries trying to get to zero. To gain this exemption, New Delhi will likely cite current press reporting about its reduced intake of Iranian crude. However, recent data paints a different picture of India’s Iranian oil imports, which have stayed essentially the same for the past two months.