By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - India has won praise from the U.S. for complying with its sanctions on Iran, officials in Washington said.
"We have been highly gratified by cooperation from a great friend and partner like India, and even less well-aligned countries such as China, in making the rather obvious choice that the United States would be the business partner of choice, not Iran," said a senior U.S. official, quoted by Indian local media.
The statement came just after the U.S. slapped sanctions on Iran's foreign minister.
The U.S. imposed severe economic sanctions on Iran last November, moving to stop its allies and other countries from trading with Tehran, especially buying oil.
Following the announcement of the sanctions, the US initially granted relief to seven countries including Turkey and India to continue buying Iranian oil, but the waiver ended in May.
An energy-deficient country, India was the second-largest Iranian oil importer, and has cut its share to almost zero, Indian PTI news agency said.
Iran's oil exports in July were significantly down to 100,000 barrels per day from the previous historic low of 781,000, claimed the official.
"The United States just continues to be appreciative, particularly of India's cooperation, and continues to be very mindful of India's legitimate energy needs," he added.
"We are very happy as a major energy producer to contribute to what we see as an ample supply to the global market that can keep India amply supplied with energy," the official said, according to the report.
India has also cut its allocations for the construction of Iran’s Chabahar port to 450 million Indian rupees ($6.5 million) from 1.5 billion rupees ($21.8 million) for the year 2019-20.