India to Find Way to Pay for Iran Oil

India to Find Way to Pay for Iran OilIndia to Find Way to Pay for Iran Oil

India hasn’t worked out yet a payment system for continued purchases of crude oil from Iran, Subhash Chandra Garg, economic affairs secretary at India’s finance ministry, said.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has conveyed the message that his country would continue to buy Iranian oil to some extent, Garg told CNBC TV18 news channel, as quoted by Reuters.

Recent reports have it that India has discussed ditching the US dollar in its trading of oil with Russia, Venezuela, and Iran, instead settling the trade either in Indian rupees or under some barter agreement.

India is Iran’s second-largest single oil customer after China and was expected to cut back on Iranian oil purchases, but it is unlikely to cut off completely the cheap Iranian oil that is suitable for its refineries.

India wants to keep importing oil from Iran, because Tehran offers some discounts and incentives for Indian buyers at a time when the Indian government is struggling with higher oil prices and a weakening local currency that additionally weighs on its oil import bill.

But the United States continues to insist that it expects Iranian oil buyers to bring their purchases down to zero.

Earlier this week, Indian officials said that they hoped India could secure a waiver from the US, because it has significantly reduced purchases of Iranian oil. Late last week, the US hinted that it was at least considering waivers.  

Meanwhile, special US representative for Iran Brian Hook is currently touring India and Europe to discuss US foreign policy toward Iran, the US Department of State said on Thursday.

Hook and assistant secretary of state for energy resources, Francis R. Fannon, will be meeting with Indian government counterparts for consultations.

“During this trip, Hook will engage our allies and partners on our shared need to counter the entirety of the Iranian regime’s destructive behavior in the Middle East, and in their own neighborhoods,” the state department claimed without mentioning anything about Washington’s own dangerous foreign policy and its growing hostility towards its closest allies and trading partners.


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