Spokeswoman: Iranian FM to visit India, oil debts in agenda

Photo: Spokeswoman: Iranian FM to visit India, oil debts in agenda / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 19

By Umid Niayesh, Saeed Isayev - Trend:

Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit India next week, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, Marziyeh Afkham said, Iran's Moj News agency reported on Feb. 19.

Afkham confirmed earlier reports which claim the payment of India's oil debts to Iran will be discussed during the visit.

She went on to say that the two sides will discuss a wide range of cooperation issues, including energy, economy and transit.

Zarif has been invited to India by his Indian counterpart, she underlined.

Last week, Reuters reported that Iran has asked India for $1.5 billion in back oil payments under the nuclear deal that provides Tehran some relief from Western sanctions.

Iran and the P5+1 reached a nuclear agreement on Nov. 24, 2013. Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities for six months in return for sanctions relief. Both Iran and the P5+1 group have agreed to implement the agreement starting from Jan. 20.

Under the agreement, six major powers agreed to give Iran access to $4.2 billion in revenues blocked overseas if it carries out the deal, which offers sanctions relief in exchange for steps to curb the Iranian nuclear program.

India's oil imports debt to Iran is around $3 billion, the rest of which is deposited in Indian rupees into India's UCO Bank account.

The India industrial sources have said that the country's refineries have made moves aimed at reviving the previous method for paying Iran's oil money through Turkey's Halk Bank, but Iran probably demands receiving its dept in its own Central Bank account, either in Switzerland, or in Germany, according to the Reuters.

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