India continued crude imports from Iran despite the harsh western sanctions imposed against the oil-rich country. India’s crude oil imports from Iran have increased by 21.1 percent in June 2013 compared to a year earlier despite the US-led sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic\'s energy and financial sectors, recent data showed. Essar Oil Ltd purchased 138,900 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude oil in June, which marks a 16.3-percent growth compared to the previous month. Meanwhile, major Indian oil refiner, Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), is preparing to resume crude imports from the Islamic Republic of Iran after it halted the procedure in April. Managing Director of the MRPL P. P. Upadhya recently said the refinery stopped imports because local insurers said they could no longer cover plants that process Iranian crude. He added that MRPL has secured local reinsurance for claims of up to 5 billion rupees (over $83 million). Iran and India which have deep historical and cultural relations are now seeking to further expand political and economic ties. India, the world\'s fourth-largest petroleum consumer, is Iran\'s second largest oil customer after China and purchases around $12bln worth of Iranian crude every year, about 12 percent of its consumption.