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Mon 18 Jul 2011 04:10 PM

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Iran says India owes it $5bn in oil import dispute

India banks have blocked transfers to Iran amid pressure from Washington, sanctions

Iran says India owes it $5bn in oil import dispute
India reportedly owes Iran billions of dollars for oil imports after blocking bank transfers to Tehran

Iran said on Monday India's latest payment balance on crude
oil imports from the Islamic state stands at $5bn, the official IRNA news
agency quoted the governor of the Central Bank of Iran as saying.

"Payment on oil transactions are [usually] received one
or two months after their completion, and consequently there is always a
balance of payment standing in favour of Iran," said Mahmoud Bahmani.

He made the comment before a number of Iranian economic
officials including Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini and a senior lawmaker
to set the record straight on differing figures quoted by various Iranian
government officials on the payment problem between the two countries.

India reportedly owes Iran billions of dollars for oil
imported in the months since Indian banks blocked transfers of money to Tehran
under pressure from Washington, which suspects Iran of trying to make nuclear
weapons.

Bahmani said the two countries had been in talks to resolve
the payment problem, taking also into consideration the issue of western
banking sanction in place against Iran.

He said "appropriate measures" had been taken to
resolve the problem with a view to the banking sanction.

"If Iran is subjected to sanction it is because of
political considerations and we have to recognize that we are currently
struggling against it."

Iran says Indian buyers have been paying the billions they
owe into a joint bank account that Iran cannot access since the Reserve Bank of
India ended a regional clearing mechanism in December 2010, but the Islamic
state will keep sending crude anyway so rival suppliers would not take more of
Asia's third biggest consumer market.

To ensure that his country has no intention of stopping oil
exports to India over the payment problem, Iran caretaker Oil Minister Mohammad
Aliabadi said earlier this month Iran will not cut oil supplies to India which
will find a way to pay for its exports within the next two months.

Iran supplies around 12 percent of India's oil import
requirements.

zxc 8 years ago

If Indians play the second fiddle to the USA, let the Iranians stop supplying oil to them.

zef 8 years ago

It is about time that India realises who it's friends are and the USA is certainly not one of them.The USA cannot accept the fact that countries like India and China are doing so well and are an economic threat to the USA.It is countries like Iran that are helping them achieve their economic success.