US barbs may block India’s pay path for Iran oil
India's sole means of dollar payment to Iran for oil may be blocked if a new round of US sanctions is put in place, The Times of India reported.
Diplomatic sources said new sanctions currently on the drafting table could be unleashed after the US presidential election in November.
India currently uses Turkey's Halkbank to route dollar payments to Iran. The new set of sanctions being contemplated would close that route. If these sanctions go through, India's options would be constrained and New Delhi would be heavily dependent on a continuation of the waiver that it currently enjoys. The US administration gave India a waiver on the Iran sanctions, but this was only for 180 days. Japan is the only country that has been given an extension of the waiver.
India is also allowed to pay around 45% of the payment in rupees, which New Delhi wants to use to invest in projects in Iran. India has stepped on the gas to develop the port following a huge endorsement by Iran and Afghanistan. Be that as it may, fresh sanctions on Iran would make India's intentions of staying engaged in Iran more difficult.