Iran Economy NewsIndia hopes for quick solution to Iran payments issue

India hopes for quick solution to Iran payments issue

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Reuters: India expects a solution to its dispute with Iran over payments for oil in the next few days, its oil secretary said on Thursday, which would rescue trade worth $12 billion a year to the sanctions-hit Islamic Republic.

NEW DELHI, Dec 30 (Reuters) – India expects a solution to its dispute with Iran over payments for oil in the next few days, its oil secretary said on Thursday, which would rescue trade worth $12 billion a year to the sanctions-hit Islamic Republic.

India’s central bank has said deals with Iran must be settled outside the long-standing Asian Clearing Union (ACU) system and Iran has refused to sell oil under the new rules.

“We are working on an alternate settlement mechanism. It is being discussed at length with the ministry of finance and a solution will be found in the course of the next few days,” Indian Oil Secretary S. Sundareshan told a news conference.

“The Asian Clearing Union mechanism … is under some stress and RBI wants to make changes in this mechanism,” he added, referring to the Reserve Bank of India.

India imports about 400,000 barrels per day of crude from Iran, which is under global pressure over its nuclear programme. Although United Nations sanctions do not ban purchase of Iranian oil, the United States has pressed for deals with Iran to stop.

The White House on Wednesday praised the RBI’s move to reduce dealings with Iran’s central bank, which comes less than two months after President Barack Obama visited India.

Indian sources have said officials from the RBI and Iran’s central bank will meet on Friday to discuss the issue. (Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Ratnajyoti Dutta, writing by Jo Winterbottom; editing by Tony Munroe)

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