Iran could stop oil exports to India starting on August 1 if the financial dispute over the payment of arrears is not resolved, an Iranian
Oil Ministry official said, Fars News Agency reported.
The unnamed official told FNA on Monday that Iran does not want to halt oil shipments to India indefinitely and will only halt deliveries scheduled for August if India fails to pay its debt to the Islamic Republic.
Also on Monday, Central Bank of Iran Governor
Mahmoud Bahmani said that there have been some negotiations with the Indian officials over the overdue payment, which now stands at five billion dollars. Bahmani corrected earlier reports that said the figure was nine billion dollars.
In February 2011, Iran and India agreed to set up a new mechanism for the oil payments using euros through the
EIH Bank in Germany.
On April 7, Germany rebuffed pressure by the United States and the European Union to close down the EIH Bank, announcing that it has no proof that any illegal activities are being conducted by the bank.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman
Andreas Peschke said that the EIH Bank will continue its activities in the European country.
India imports 84 percent of its oil requirements and depends heavily on oil from the Middle East to power its economy.
Iran is reportedly India's second biggest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia and exports about $12 billion of petroleum to Asia's third largest oil consumer.