Iran says India paid some of oil debt; India denies it

(Reuters) – Indian officials, dismissing Iranian media reports, said they had not yet paid any oil money to Iran under a deal that provides Tehran some relief from Western sanctions.

Under a landmark deal signed on November 24, Washington and the European Union agreed to let Iran access $4.2 billion in oil revenue that had been frozen in accounts abroad.

Iranian oil ministry news service Shana reported on Tuesday that Mohsen Qamsari, head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said India had deposited some of the money in a Central Bank of Iran (CBI) account.

He said 45 percent of the money had been deposited in Indian rupees and 55 percent in euros, according to Shana.

Indian government and industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday that India had yet not made any payments.

As part of a limited relaxing of sanctions over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme, the funds are expected to be paid in eight transfers, with the first made by Japan on February 1

Indian officials said late last month that they were ready to pay $1.5 billion to clear part of a backlog of payments, following the partial easing of Western sanctions on Tehran.

India’s imports from Iran more than doubled in January compared with a month earlier, hitting their highest since February 2012.

By Reuters


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