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This article originated in VOA’s Persian Service. Anjana Pasricha contributed from New Delhi and Hilmi Hacaloglu contributed from Istanbul.
Iran’s biggest likely remaining oil customers, China, Turkey and India, were silent about purchases of Iranian crude Thursday as a total U.S. ban on such trade took effect, leaving their next moves a mystery.
The Trump administration was equally silent about what action it might take if any of the three countries continues to purchase Iranian oil after Thursday, with no statements on the subject issued during the day by the departments of State or Treasury.
A six-month grace period granted by the United States for China, Turkey, India and five other governments to reduce their Iranian oil imports to zero expired Wednesday. In an April 22 statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said no nation would receive any further exemptions or waivers from U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran’s oil industry last November. The sanctions are part of a U.S. bid to pressure Iran into negotiating a new deal to end its alleged nuclear weapons program and other malign behaviors.
Iran has said its nuclear program is peaceful and it intends to keep exporting oil, its main revenue source, in defiance of the U.S. sanctions.
Washington has been encouraging Iran’s oil customers to switch to other major oil producers such as Gulf Arab nations that have pledged to keep energy markets appropriately supplied. Pompeo also has said the United States will enforce its unilateral ban on Iran’s oil trade and warned that paying Iran for its crude entails “risks” that will “not … be worth the benefits,” a reference to the possibility of purchasers facing U.S. secondary sanctions.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said diversifying Ankara’s oil sources in a short time “does not seem possible.”
Cavusoglu said Turkish refineries that have been processing Iranian crude are capable of handling oil from Iraq but not from many other nations, whom he did not name. He said Turkey would need to upgrade the technology of its refineries in order to import oil from those other countries, requiring the refineries to be shut down for a period of time.
“This would have a cost. However you look at it, the unilateral decision made by the U.S. is adversely affecting everyone,” Cavusoglu said. “The U.S. should review its decisions.”
The top Turkish diplomat did not say whether Ankara will buy Iranian oil in future.
But Turkey has been significantly reducing its reliance on Iranian imports since the start of the U.S. sanctions waiver. Data from Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority show the country imported an average of 209,000 tons of Iranian crude per month from November through February, the first four months of the waiver period. It had been importing an average of 701,000 tons per month in the prior 10 months, accounting for around one-fifth of its total oil imports for the period.
China, Iran’s biggest oil customer, made no comment on Thursday’s expiry of the six-month U.S. waiver for buying Iranian crude. But its initial response to the U.S. decision not to extend the waiver was similar to that of Turkey. In an April 24 news briefing, Chinese Foreign Minister spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing also opposes the unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdictions” of the United States. He also urged Washington not to undermine what he called Beijing’s lawful and legitimate “cooperation” with Iran.
India also did not comment Thursday. In an April 23 tweet, Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said New Delhi has a plan to maintain an “adequate” supply of crude to Indian refineries, adding: “There will be additional supplies from other major oil-producing countries.”
Pradhan did not name those countries or say whether the additional supplies would completely replace crude from Iran, which had been India’s third biggest supplier a year ago.
Indian media have said Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj appealed to Pompeo in an April 27 phone call for New Delhi to have more time to import Iranian oil without being hit by U.S. secondary sanctions. Swaraj was quoted as calling for flexibility in the U.S. position because India is in the midst of a general election and wants the next government to make decisions about whom to buy oil from.
China and India had been reducing their dependence on Iranian oil before the end of the U.S. waiver period. An April 30 report by Reuters showed both nations significantly cut their Iranian crude imports in the January to March quarter compared to the same period a year before, with China making a 28% reduction and India a 40% reduction in imported barrels per day.
What will the three do?
Frank Verrastro, a Washington-based energy analyst at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, told VOA Persian he expects further reductions in China’s purchases of Iranian oil.
“They have been increasing purchases of similar-quality Saudi oil as well as looking at alternative supplies from the U.S., other Mideast nations and Russia,” Verrastro said in a Tuesday email.
But Verrastro said Beijing also may try to keep importing some Iranian crude in ways that bypass the U.S. financial system and sanctions regime. He said China could barter with Iran, enable Iran to repay loans with oil, or make non-U.S. dollar purchases of Iranian crude.
Indian strategic affairs analyst Manoj Joshi of New Delhi’s Observer Research Foundation told VOA the U.S. ban on Iranian oil exports presents India not just with an economic challenge but also a foreign policy one. “It puts us in a very awkward spot,” Joshi said in a Thursday interview, noting the move will hurt India’s ties with Iran. “The U.S. may be our partner, but we cannot have a congruence of interests in everything. When there are no options, what do you do?”
Turkey is likely to wait and see what Iran’s bigger customers China and India do before deciding whether to keep importing Iranian oil, according to Hakki Uygur, acting director of Ankara’s Center of Iranian Studies. In a Wednesday interview with VOA Turkish, he said that if China and India maintain their recent levels of imports, Turkey may do the same.
“But if the U.S. sanctions are enforced strictly, Iraq would be one of our most important secondary sources of oil,” Uygur said. (VOA)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord