India owes Iran $7 billion for oil – economy minister
Tehran, Iran, April 25
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iranian Minister of Economy Ali Tayebnia said that India owes Iran about $7 billion for the oil it has bought from the country.
Speaking further, Tayebnia said that Iran doesn't have access to all of its oil revenues, ILNA news agency reported April 24.
Meanwhile, Indian Minister of State Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said in mid-March that his country owed Iran $8.8 billion for oil.
At the time it was noted that since 2011 when sanctions against Iran were intensified, Indian refineries had been storing 45 percent of Iran's petrodollars in the rupee in the country's UCO Bank.
The account's balance in March was reported at 178 billion rupees (about $3 billion).
Besides India, Iran also has oil money stuck in China - which, is currently the main importer of Iranian oil.
Last year, Hadi Qavami, overseeing member in the Iranian parliament's Money and Credit Council, said that China owed Iran $50 billion worth of oil revenue.
Shell, British Petroleum, and oil companies from Greece and South Korea are other companies with most petrodollar debts to Iran.
Since a nuclear agreement in Geneva in 2013, Iran has been receiving some of its frozen oil money.
Tehran is eyeing a comprehensive deal on its nuclear program with the group P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) by July, which would lift the sanctions and free its assets abroad.
Mehdi Sepahvand is Trend Agency's journalist in Iran, follow him on Twitter: @mehdisepahvand