With nuclear deal in sight, Iran drives harder bargain in Indian trade talks

With nuclear deal in sight, Iran drives harder bargain in Indian trade talks

Iranian trade negotiators have become more assertive with Indian counterparts as hopes rise of international sanctions on Tehran easing later this year, sources said, and Indian companies fear they may lose business as more countries bid for projects, Reuters reported.

The push back from the Iranians came as a surprise to India, which has enjoyed special dispensation from Tehran as one of only a handful of countries willing to do business with it while it faced Western economic sanctions.

Under a tentative framework agreement reached between six major powers and Tehran in April, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activity in return for sanctions relief. A final deal could be reached by June 30.

That prospect appears to have emboldened Iran, said sources familiar with trade negotiations with India, including in its handling of a sizeable deal to import railway tracks.

The $233 million contract, signed last October, was for India's State Trading Corp (STC) to facilitate exports of rail tracks from SAIL Ltd and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd to Iran's railways.

But Iran told Indian negotiators that it had offers from other countries, including Turkey, to supply the equipment at a cheaper cost, the sources said.

Last month, New Delhi sent trade secretary Rajeev Kher to persuade Tehran to adhere to the original terms, but he came back "empty handed", according to one of the sources.

"They are no longer the same Iranians that came to us last year for signing the deal," the source said. "They were polite this time, but had an upper hand in the negotiations."

India has cut the value of the deal by about 7 percent to $217 million, the sources said. They added that they worry the Iranians may seek further cuts, and could split the order with other countries.

STC chairman Rahim Khaleel declined to comment. Kher, Iran Rail, SAIL and Jindal Steel did not respond to requests for comment.

It was not immediately clear whether other countries that trade with Iran have seen a similar hardening in Tehran's stance. Oil refinery sources in Japan said they had not seen any change yet.

Iran said it wanted to renegotiate the rail contract, because the euro had declined against the dollar and steel and iron ore prices had fallen significantly since the deal was first struck in 2014.

Indian negotiators said price and currency risks were incorporated into the original agreement, but they had to give in, the sources said.

It was a large order for the Indians and the specter of competition from other suppliers loomed large, they added.

"Earlier they were standing in line to offer us deals," one source said. Now, they ask the Indians to "wait in line and wait your turn."

The supply contract is expected to kick off within six months, and, under the renewed terms, India will supply 250,000 tonnes of rails to Iran over 18 months through STC.

The shift in Iran's stance has also been visible in the vital energy sector.

The National Iranian Oil Company has told Indian refiners, for example, that it would withdraw some of the discounts and free shipping it had been offering them on crude sales to maintain its oil output, oil industry sources said.

The sources added that the state oil firm anticipated ramping up exports once the nuclear deal was finalised, after which there would be many more buyers for its crude.

In 2013, the then Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi visited India to offer development rights for a gas field on a production sharing basis, after getting special permission from parliament on a deal that would normally contravene Iranian law.

India did not sign the deal for the Farzad B gas field, as international sanctions barred investment in Iran's hydrocarbon sector, an Iranian diplomat said.

Now, Tehran has withdrawn the offer, according to Iranian media. Iran plans to auction the field instead, one report said.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Kazakhstan ratifies agreements on military-technical assistance with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
Kazakhstan ratifies agreements on military-technical assistance with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
Turkmenistan, Tajikistan to attract small, medium businesses to joint projects
Turkmenistan, Tajikistan to attract small, medium businesses to joint projects
Kyrgyz border service reports shots from Tajikistan
Kyrgyz border service reports shots from Tajikistan
Loading Bars
Latest
Passenger transportation via Iran's Kermanshah International Airport declines
UK records another 42,848 coronavirus cases
Explosion occurred near Iran's nuclear facility
Azerbaijan hands over to Armenia body of saboteur neutralized in attack on Azerbaijani serviceman in Khojavand
Azerbaijan talks entreprises to be commissioned at Aghdam Industrial Park
Major terrorist attack against rally with Erdogan's participation prevented in Turkey
Great number of EU, NATO countries interested in Turkish drones - Cavushoglu
Georgian PM meets with President of FIBA Europe
OSCE MG ready to host meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian FMs
Value of Azerbaijan's export to US surges for 10M2021
Prices on several main food products in Kazakhstan continue to lower
Agrarian sector of ‘smart village’ in Azerbaijan’s Zangilan to be combined modern urban planning – minister
Azerbaijan discloses project cost of agropark in Yevlakh (PHOTO)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange down
Saudi Arabia, France agree to strengthen cooperation
Biden, Putin to hold video call on Tuesday
India, Australia are natural economic partners, says Tony Abbott
Azerbaijan receives mine maps of its territories liberated from Armenian occupation
Erdogan discusses humanitarian aid with Red Crescent, Red Cross
Uzbekistan intends to increase dried fruit exports to China
No Omicron strain detected in Georgia - NCDC Head
Aligarh’s Areeba shoots to fame, breaks stereotypes about Muslim girls
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price skyrockets
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,406 more COVID-19 cases, 1,787 recoveries
Tactical exercises held in Azerbaijan's commando military unit - MoD (PHOTO/VIDEO)
New composition of Supervisory Board of Azerbaijan Industrial Corporation approved
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for December 4
President Ilham Aliyev sends congratulations to heads of Thailand, Finland
France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan - Macron
Ranking of natural gas importers from Azerbaijan
Uzbek Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange reveals volume of its transactions
SOCAR Georgia Gas announces tender on gas stations restoration
Iran eyes increase in passenger transportation via Yazd Shahid Sadooghi Airport
Azerbaijan reveals oil exports to Canada in 10M2021
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
Turkmenistan’s president approves anti-crisis program for 2022
Azerbaijan’s liberated territories have high potential for solar energy - RES agency
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's ICT sector
Russian company to help automate, digitalize processes in Uzbek energy sector
Iran reaches increase in load/unload operations in Shahid Bahonar port
Top 10 Azerbaijani oil importers
MFA reveals reason why Armenia-Azerbaijan ministerial meeting didn't take place
Kazakhstan talks construction of wind power plants in Kostanay region
Azerbaijan achieves practical results to restore hydropower plants in liberated lands - agency's CEO
Azerbaijan’s metallurgical company notes increases in steel production over 9M2021
Iran also to be able to take advantage of Zangazur corridor – ex-Iranian ambassador to Azerbaijan
Russia-UAE trade turnover hits fresh all-time high surpassing $4 bln - Mishustin
Kazakhstan’s Almaty Power Plants to buy pumping, ventilation equipment via tender
Azerbaijan discloses oil exports to Ukraine over 10M2021
Azerbaijan unveils volume of oil exports to Belarus in first 10M2021
Georgian Railway shares updated report on income within 9M2021
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 oil exports to UK revealed
Kazakhstan to timely fulfill its obligations under COP26 – PM
Azerbaijan opens investment tender to privatize Sumgayit Construction Service company
Iran finds way to supply its far north, north-east provinces with gas
Georgia releases COVID-19 data for December 4
LUKOIL Uzbekistan Operating LLC opens tender for supply of shut-off and control valves
Mikheil Saakashvili not to be treated abroad – Georgia's minister
Russia offers Azerbaijan to switch to barcoding for fruit, vegetables exports
Tripartite gas swap deal with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, may help Iran kill two birds with one stone
Azerbaijan Mortgage and Credit Guarantee Fund issues record amount of loans in 10M2021
Goods movement across Azerbaijani-Russian border to be accelerated
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
Kazakhstan boosts trade with Romania over 9M2021
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's oil & gas sector
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Treatment of servicemen injured in helicopter crash of Azerbaijan’s State Border Service continues
Turkey to support Azerbaijan in installing seismic stations in Karabakh
Iran aims to increase local solar power production
Gamaleya Center ready to accept state order for up to 10 mln sets of Sputnik M
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia to buy welding equipment via tender
Georgia’s export of oil products increases
India’s air defence gets a big boost, Russia starts delivery of S-400 missiles
India's defence procurement guided by national security interests: MEA
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for December 3
Iranian currency rates for December 4
Turkey's export product labeling changes
S.Korea reports record-high COVID-19 cases, deaths
Iran, China review cinematic cooperation
Georgia and Poland have potential for development of bilateral trade
Kyrgyzstan, Russia presidents hold telephone conversation
Japan PM Kishida likely to cancel U.S. visit due to Omicron
Militants kill at least 31 in central Mali, say local authorities
Tunisia confirms 1st case of Omicron variant infection
Turkey confirms 21,495 daily COVID-19 cases
France announces new travel restrictions
IMF chief says Omicron could dent global economic growth
France evacuates more than 300 people from Afghanistan
UK records more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases
Italy's economy projected to grow 6.3 pct this year
Kazakhstan decreases petroleum gas export to Hungary amid global pandemic
Militants kill 7 soldiers in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state
Iran nuclear talks adjourn, resume next week
South Africa hit by fourth COVID wave driven by Omicron
Budget for social rehabilitation and childcare to reach 52 mln GEL next year, Georgian PM says
Putin informs Erdogan on main results of Sochi trilateral meeting
Turkey introduces action plan to improve lives of the disabled
Construction of 50MW solar power plant underway in Kazakhstan
All news