The decision of the Central government to bar Indian companies from using the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) to process payments will directly affect India’s trade with Iran and in particular will affect the import of gas and crude oil from Iran which constitutes around 16 to 17 per cent of the country’s crude oil requirements.
The Americans have been pressurizing India as Iran’s largest trading partner in the ACU to close down this route as they consider it a barrier in the implementation of the US’s arbitrarily imposed sanctions on all companies doing trade with Iran.
This decision of the Government of India is a shameful surrender to US foreign policy agendas and is against the national interest. This is all the more apparent since the sanctions imposed by the United Nations exclude imports in the energy sector and, therefore, it is not at all incumbent on India as a member of the UN to take such a step. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the US spokesman on the issue should praise India’s “significant action”. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condemns this decision of the government as being against the national interests. It demands rescinding of the step. It calls on other political parties to also put pressure on the government.