Amid US sanctions, Iran on Tuesday said it believes India will act in its national interest on the issue of oil imports and Tehran can act as a "protector" of India's energy security.
Iran's Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni also asserted that his country can provide "affordability, accessibility and security" of energy to India, NDTV reported.
The Iranian envoy also alluded to the possibility of using barter, rupee and European mechanisms for oil trade with India and other countries to circumvent the US sanctions.
His remarks assume significance as they come days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had assured India that America is "doing everything" to ensure crude oil imports to New Delhi in the wake of the situation arising out of sanctions on importing oil from Iran.
Pompeo had said India has made "hard choices" to cut off oil imports from Iran.
Referring to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's remarks at the joint press interaction with Pompeo in New Delhi last week, Chegeni said, "If Jaishankar said affordability, accessibility and security of energy, Iran is the only country that can provide all these aspects of energy for India … We understand each other, follow our national interest and Iran is ready for being the protector of energy security of India."
Chegeni said probably the oil import might have been stopped but Iran has not received any "negative signal" from India that they would do so in future.
"India is a friend forever. We understand that India will act according to its national interest. As we understand from Jaishankar's statement that India will follow its national interest. That is acceptable for everybody," the envoy said.
"We think India is under pressure, but we believe India is a friend of Iran. India's relations with other countries do not affect us. Our relations with India are based on history; it is based on long-term mutual benefit and interest," he added.