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Turkey not part of India oil payments -Iran cbank
Indian payments for Iran oil blocked as Tehran under sanctions; Indian buyer made test payment via Turkish bank; But central bank chief says Turkey not involved
August 2, 2011 11:30 by p.deleon
Iran will recover billions of dollars’ worth of debt for oil exports to India without the help of Turkey, its central bank chief said on Monday, while another official said Turkey was one of several possible intermediaries to unblocking the funds.
“Turkey does not have any role in transferring Iran’s money from India,” the semi-official Mehr news agency Mehr quoted Mahmoud Bahmani as saying. “Iran itself will receive its debt arrears.”
Indian buyers owe Iran $5 billion for months of supplies after India scrapped a previous clearing mechanism in December under pressure from the United States.
Washington wants to isolate Tehran which it believes is developing nuclear weapons, something the Islamic Republic denies. While the sanctions do not stop Iran from selling its oil, they are increasingly making it difficult to receive petrodollars via foreign banks.
Iran’s biggest Indian customer, state-run Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) , made a test payment in euros through Turkey’s state-controlled Halkbank with a view to using that channel to overcome the blockage, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
In the Mehr report, Bahmani did not say how the payments would be made to Iran where sanctions have made it increasingly difficult to perform international banking transactions. The central bank was not immediately able to comment.
In a separate article, Mehr quoted Iran’s ambassador to India confirming that Turkey was one possible intermediary.
“Iran and India’s officials’ efforts to resolve the problem led to negotiations with two or three third parties of which Turkey was one,” Mehdi Nabizadeh said.
India and Iran have been looking for ways for New Delhi to pay for some 400,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude, or 12 percent of India’s oil demand, since the Reserve Bank of India halted a clearing mechanism under U.S. pressure in December.
Executives at Indian refineries said in late July they had still not received any crude oil supply notices for August after Iran told them it would stop shipments over the
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