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India mulls payments in yen, euro to Iran for oil

Indian delegation to visit Iran on Jan. 14.

January 11, 2011 12:28 by

India is looking at making payments to Iran for oil shipments through the yen, euro and dirham currencies, R. Gopalan, secretary of financial services in India’s finance ministry, told reporters on Tuesday.

He also said an Indian delegation comprising of officials from the finance ministry, central bank and state-run lender State Bank of India would visit Tehran, the Iranian capital, on Jan. 14.

“We can have options in euro, yen and dirham. We can look at some of these currencies,” Gopalan said. India was not considering rupee payments as an option as of now, he added. India is trying to end a payments dispute with Iran, which threatens to disrupt oil supplies after New Delhi fell into line with the U.S. and international sanctions targeting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The two nations have so far not been able to find a solution on how New Delhi should pay for oil imports from Iran after India’s central bank said last month that payments to the Middle East country could no longer be settled using a long-standing clearing house system run by regional central banks.

The decision, taken weeks after U.S. President Barack Obama visited India, was praised by Washington, which said the move would reduce funds available to Tehran to support its nuclear activity, which the U.S. believes is aimed at building an atomic bomb.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Manash Goswami)

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