India lauds US exemption on Iranian oil sanctions

India has welcomed a U.S. decision to allow it to continue to import Iranian crude oil and develop an Iranian port for trade with Afghanistan despite Washington's reimposition of sanctions on Iran.

The spokesman of India's External Affairs Ministry, Raveesh Kumar, said Friday that Iranian crude oil is very important for India's energy needs and security.

He declined to say how much crude oil India will continue to import from Iran.

During the April-June quarter, India bought 5.67 million tons of Iranian oil.

The United States has granted waivers on the sanctions to eight countries, bowing to concerns that a complete end to imports of oil from Iran would cause economic disruptions.