Iran continues to export oil to India: Oil Ministry caretaker

Oil&Gas Materials 7 July 2011 13:06 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 7 /Trend/

Iran continues to preserve long-term relationship with India. The payment dispute will be solved in the near future, IRNA reported quoting Iran's Oil Ministry caretaker Mohammad Aliabadai as saying.

"India is Iran's long term customer and we maintain these relations. There is no delay in payment and the problem will be solved in the near future," he said.

Previously the Managing Director of international affairs in the National Iranian Oil Company Mohsen Ghamsari stated that Indian refineries paid the full price for Iran's oil exports and the current problem is the transfer of money from Iran to India through a joint account.

Iranian media recently reported India's debt to pay Iran's export oil, which reached nearly $9 billion, while the National Iranian Oil Company has warned that it would halt oil exports.

The tension between the two countries for oil payments began December 23, when India's Central Bank (Reserve Bank of India) placed restrictions on transactions with Iran through the Clearing House System (Asian Clearing Union) that Washington believes Tehran has been using to bypass international sanctions.

India has agreed to stop paying for its Iranian oil imports via Germany since Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel intervened by instructing Germany's central bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) to stop clearing payments from India headed to the bank.

Iran is the second-largest crude supplier to India after Saudi Arabia and accounts for about 14% of the country's oil import costs.